Posted 02-05-2005 at 09:29:56
[Reply] [Send Email]
Yes, She's With Me
Almost three months now. No I don't count the days, but the first of every month doesn't conjure up paying bills or what Holiday is due like it use too. Mama left me the first of the month, April, hell; April Fools day even! But ... did she really leave? is she gone? NO.. without a second thought i know now she isn't. I see her in the strangest places and I hear her voice talking to me just as real as if she was standing in front of me..I see her in the way I hold a tiny baby. Mamma always loved the babies, she ran a daycare for years from her home. Unlike most, hers was like going to your grandmas house. There was always some child favorite food cooking on the stove and only a map could take you through her house with out stepping on toys on the floor. At any time of day you could find one in her arms, or one on the floor crying, or one holding a cookie or hear her voice saying "here let granny griffin get that"....the rest would be involved in all sorts of activities and the tv would be blaring the latest cartoons. Now I hold the babies, tell them to "lay da liddle head down" on my shoulder. I take the place of their parents and like mamma I want them to feel loved even more than just cared for in their parents' absence. I hear her voice when i go down the list of kids names. Mamma could spout off a dozen names befor she got the right one....i have been known to do the same, even throwing in the dogs name. But it was nap time when she would sit down and while eating we'd talk on the phone. Her telling me about the kids, daddy and all the local gossip. Ya know? I have actually gone and picked up the phone to call her and return the tradition while my daycare kids are sleeping. But of course stop short and think.....welp, mamma your here aren't' ya...I can't call ya, but your here.
My mother although a large women, had the prettiest hands, she never went a day without making sure her hands were soft and her nails were perfect. Even in the last weeks of her life i saw her fidget with her nails and knew she was thinking how they needed "done". Now as I type this I see her hands, nails perfect, rings sparkle and hold the promise as I wear them that she is always with me. I look down and don't see my hands, but mamma's.....and I think, yes, she is with me.
I ran into Ruthie, a long time friend of my mothers the other day. And I came very close to asking have ya talked to mom lately....because Ruthie always had something to say about mom. She looked lonely. She missed her. She said she ran onto some old photos of them when they were younger and raising us kids. She said she sat with the cardboard box on her lap and just let the time slip away as she remembered the shopping trips, the carry in dinners and the time mom made me slide under the bathroom door so she didn't have to pay a dime...and I could see them by the picture she painted with words....dressed in cotton dresses, large full pocketbooks over their arms, hair permed tight and I also remembered the handkerchief in her hand.....used many a time to clean my face. Yes mamma your with Ruthie too.
I see her in food.....what i cook, how i cook it and I hear her scold when i dry cook the hard boiled eggs or splatter water from the kitchen sink....yep...shes with me.
I've even caught myself feeling just seven years old when i put on makeup....for all her perfumes and makeup I have brought home with me. When I put them on I hear her saying "just a little" ya don't need that stuff anyhow. But it's mamma's makeup and her perfume and I feel like a little girl when I put it on.
Days go by and I wonder what parts of her I've retained. What parts of my life will be remembered by the people that pass through my life. What thoughts will scramble my son's minds when they stand for the last time and say good by to me. What memories will my best friend recall.
I found a large set of silverware in the pantry last week. It was from mamma last Christmas. I remember how we talked about how much i could use more and how she told me to care for it. As I stood looking at it, I knew, she was with me. I now have her quilts, they grace my bed, my walls and my guest room. Yes someday I will pass a few on to my children, but for now I like to stand and look at them and again memories of her come to me. "Take care of em now" "ya can't be washing them all the time". Yes she is with me.
But I often close my eyes and relive my most special memories of mamma, my 50th birthday. Looking back she was so weak, she was down to not even drinking anymore, only accepting tiny sips of water from a spoon. Not alert anymore or able to raise her hands she could only lay breathing. I sat by her bed as I had sense she was taken to the nursing home and just watched her. I thought this is the first time my mamma has forgotten my birthday. My fiftieth at that, one that is to mean such a milestone in a person's life. Going outside I watched the sun set over the fields next door and for the first time in my life I felt alone. Knowing I had a husband, sons, friends and family just didn't help. I was the "birthday girl" as mom use to say and she didn't even know it. I didn't feel 50, I felt like a child. The next night as I sat by her bed she opened her eyes.....looked around as if seeing her room for the first time and then her eyes settled on me. They were always blue, like mine, but had turned to a gray. She blinked and focused on me and speaking for the first time in days, said, "oh your here'....I said yes mom, I'm here, she reached her fingers and fiddled with her rings. I told her that her rings were still on her, (I had voiced my concern that she should remove them for safe keeping and she refused)....selfishly I said, mamma guess what? yesterday was my birthday....and she said to me in a voice as clear as the one I hear in my head today, "oh my, and I forgot" "oh Hollie, your my only daughter and I love you from the bottom of my heart". It was then that she removed her "joshua" ring and let it roll to my hand....I said mamma, are you sure about this? and she said, "yes, it was always to go to you" "you know what it stands for".....and just as quickly as she became lucid she also just as quickly slipped away. The day after my birthday was the last time I heard mamma's voice.
The rest of the week passed ending with her leaving......but she is still with me. Now I look at the beautiful diamond ring and think of when she got it, how she got it and all the times I'd ask to wear it witch followed with, "here give that back be for you forget you have it on"....yes she is still with me. My 50th birthday was a milestone in my life...I became aware of all the parts of me that my mother molded without knowing or trying too and I know she is with me, because I see, feel, and hear her as I speak, live, love and learn because she gave me life. I'm her only daughter and I mirror her. That makes me very proud.
Delores M Reagan Griffin......passed away April 1, 2003 she was MY MAMMA
and YES SHE'S WITH ME.