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Remembering My Mother

Purple Peony
Photo by Lisa DiFruscio

I do not just think of my mother on Mother's Day. I think of her each day, as I wake, and I have to reverse the thought that it's time to call her and ask her how she's doing, or that I will be at her place in an hour so we can go shopping. Once I get past that thought, the memories begin, of how we would ritually go shopping and have lunch and talk about nothing and everything. How through to my 53rd year she was really my only and best friend.

I cannot bring back the times I could not spend, the questions I didn't make time to ask, nor the events we could not enjoy because I was busy with my own family. You cannot get this time back. Carpe Diem has never meant so much to my daily thinking as it did when I lost mom.

There are places we would go regularly, and I still find it difficult to go there. Without warning, tears stream down my face and people look at me questionably. Hair trigger thoughts come visiting each day, and I can only surmise that she is there among them, in whatever spirit there is after life as it was.

I do know that the very first thing we think of as our consciousness awakes as a child is our mother, and the last thing we think about at death is our mother. I know this because my mother spoke of her mother in the last days of her life. That mysterious bond that is the deepest and most inherent of any other. Why this is so, I have no answer. But Mother, Madre, Abatyse, Matka, or whatever language you speak, the invisible umbilical cord remains.

One Morning, two doves somehow flew into my sunroom and perched themselves on the hot tub. Strange, in that there was no way visible they could have entered. As I looked through the french doors, they stared at me through the window a moment; I swear it was my mom and dad watching me, and I had the instant feeling that I really wasn't orphaned by their dying.

I bought an ornate bird feeder, and I placed it outside my kitchen window where I prepare my coffee in the morning. I see the doves return, and eat happily, and fly up into the coral spattered sunset. It gives me a modicum of peace, and without knowing when my eventual breath hastens, that I too will be able to join in their serenity.

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