I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. ~ Abraham Lincoln
I collect things ... books, crosses, photographs. I also collect memories, tucking them away in my heart, filing them according to category, to be pulled out at a later date when they're needed.
Today I'm collecting one to file under "Mother's Day" - a file that, sadly, didn't contain much while I was growing up. Perhaps an image of my mother and grandmother wearing corsages to church. That's about it. I specifically remember one Mother's Day I spent at the beach in Galveston with my boyfriend. I only knew it was Mother's Day because we stopped at a souvenir shop so he could buy his mother a gift. He was much more thoughtful than I was.
I think his thoughtfulness triggered my own, and after that I tried to show more attention to my mother. Let her know how much I appreciated her and loved her. Not just on Mother's Day, but birthdays, Christmas, every day.
Then I became a mother, and although Tom was quick to say "You're not my mother," he would at least guide the kids in making me a gut-busting breakfast of eggs, bacon, and toast. Teachers would focus that week's school crafts on Mother's Day projects, so I was sure to get a gift.
Now my kids are out of the house and I'm turning my focus back on my mother. I'm sitting in her house, my childhood home, waiting for her to wake up. Last night we treated her and Daddy to dinner and relaxed with them, watching television and visiting. This morning I'll try to beat my dad in getting her a cup of tea, do whatever else I can for her. My siblings will come over with contributions for a Mother's Day lunch and we'll reminisce some more before Tom and I head back home.
I'll see two out of three of my babies today - Daniel is house- and puppy-sitting while studying for finals. We'll run by to see the Girl and give her some healthy food on our way home. She has finals this week, as well.
Tommy wanted to make a one day trip to see us, but we discouraged him. He's done too much driving lately, has a lot on his mind, and we think he should just take it easy this weekend. Because above everything else, I'm his mother. I worry. I'm grateful that, for Mother's Days like this, when I can't see him, I can open up that file in my heart and pull out a few memories of other days with him to tide me over.
For my friends who have lost their mothers or their children, or for some other reason can't be with them on this day, I hope you can open up your heart and pull out some memories of happy times together. They can never replace the real thing, the real hug or kiss or smile or laugh, but I thank God for them. I thank God I'm still able to create a few more to tuck away for the days when that's all I have ... days I know will be here all too soon.
Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever. ~ Author unknown