Virginia is Mother-less on Mother’s Day for the second time (which doesn’t make it any easier.) Sharing with you a post from last year…
After a spate of rainy days it was great to be outside today absorbing sorely missed sunshine. Couldn’t help but remember the many hours spent with Mama last year on the deck lounge chairs, enjoying the trees, the breeze, and the birds tweeting about us. Tweeting around us (not sure if they noticed us enough for bird discussions) but maybe we caught their attention. Papa always called us his two Virginias: the elegantly angelic Virginia, “Ginny,” his wife (with lovely white hair), and Virginia, his daughter (with flaming red hair.)
I hope I didn’t cause too many of Mama’s white hairs, but for sure, with five children we all probably caused a few (equally distributed, of course, since my siblings read this blog!)
Contemplating these memories, suddenly TWO BLUEBIRDS flew near our birdbath. A pair – a bright blue male and an almost disguised female, but yes, as she flew away the blue peaked out from under her wings.
It’s so hard, missing her. I miss Papa… but we had Mama all last year to hug on when our hearts hurt. We tried to pamper her (after 30+ years of their 58-year marriage looking after our wheelchair-to-bedfast-bound Papa, she surely needed it. Add the preceding 28 years of raising 5 children, there could never be enough pampering in the world for our precious Mama!)
I keep finding notes she wrote to me over the years. When I worked overseas she sent many small cards with encouraging words, written in her precious script. I put them in books & all sorts of places, but what joy to uncover them now. It’s like hearing her voice across the divide.
And then I remember the embrace of her love. A few weeks before she died, Mama and I sat on the loveseat in the living room and huddled a hug of comfort that lasted awhile. I know she missed Papa all day, every day – they were like glue, stuck together (but oh what joy & fun they made together.) In his absence she let us love on her, but she loved on us, too.
Every night tucking her in, I’d say, “Mama, we love, love, love you!” Repeating it loudly so my brother Dwight would hear his cue to come in. He’d kiss her on her left cheek while I’d get the right. Then she would say, “you know, I love you!” We have her love notes, often slipped stealthily under our doors. It was painfully hard for her to write the last few years, but how precious now her words, like gold.
When she couldn’t even speak that last bedridden week of Hospice, at one point she reached her spindly skinny arms up around my neck into a hug – a final embrace of her love that I will never forget.
It’s hard to be mother-less on Mother’s Day. But I am grateful for the gift of my precious Mama’s love, and the legacy of her love – the love of God in and through her – shared in so many ways over so many days and years of faithful mothering.
Mama, we miss you!
grace, peace & love
p.s. I wrote an ode to Motherhood many years ago that my siblings asked me to share @ Mama’s Memorial service. You can access it it by clicking here: Magnificent Motherhood.