Friday, October 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mother

When mother was eight years old, her father died of lobar pneumonia, related to the coal mines in which he labored. By the time she was in the seventh grade, it was clear that continuing education was not to be. One of her older brothers was able to finish high school, but all the siblings would share in the work effort of helping this family survive. These were times during the Great Depression that most folks will never understand and hopefully ever experience.

My mother was taken from us 12 years ago, but vivid in my mind is her gentle smile, those loving eyes, and warm embrace. For as long as I can remember she worked, nearly each day of her life and at whatever task in order to care for our family. She knew much struggle and hardship, loneliness and pain, but she always seemed to muster up the strength, courage and perseverance to get through it and do what needed to be done. She did the best she could. We had little, but she gave us everything:

How you loved to laugh! and such a beautiful smile it was.
An incredibly strong woman, but kind and gentle, a heart so big,
unselfish in every way;

You taught us honesty, responsibility and integrity.
Keep your word, buy only what you can afford, and always pay your bills.
You demonstrated cleanliness and the importance of caring for the little we had;
a work ethic without complaint; sense of humor.
We learned to be independent and you allowed us to find our way.
Unwavering and unconditional was your love, no matter what.

I miss the singing, laughter, tears, your embrace.
How we danced together!

So clearly I see your beautiful face and feel your presence, your magic.  
Now you are at peace. I weep.
With all my love

"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. "
~ Kahlil Gibran