All That I Am
It was just the other day that a big gust of morning wind, warmed by sunshine, filled the air with petals of my Mr. Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln is my favorite rose and reminds me of things he said like; It’s not the days in our lives but the life in our days that matter, A house divided against itself cannot stand, and You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time: all good things to think on, when you read the news or give the world around us a good hard look.
This time of year when the days stretch out and the clouds give up plenty of rain, the ancient rosebush, standing guard at the corner of the house burst with blooms of red; as red as the cardinal that comes to perch among its thorns and remind me of my mama, and Mr. Lincoln, but mostly of my mama.
“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother,” Mr. Lincoln once said which is as true for me and the rest of us, as it was for him.
There I stood in a swirling whirlwind of beautiful red petals, falling away, beams of sunshine gathering about, the red cardinal watching from a nearby branch.
It will be Mother’s Day soon, I reminded myself, remembering the day I picked out the Mr. Lincoln; it was Mother’s Day and my mama was still alive.
I remember, because taking my mama shopping for flowers was something I did every year on Mother’s day; and she would always thank me. She didn’t have to, but she would, before and after I helped her in an out of my old pick up.
She said I was good to shop with more than once, when she browsed the flowers and shrubs, taking her time and giving thought to what she picked out. I followed and listened and tried to hold onto as many memories of her as I could. She was already fading. I thank God for not taking her all at once, even though, I know how she suffered to stay as long as she could, holding on for those Mother’s Days which seemed to last only minutes, looking back.
Sometimes, it hurts to remember.
I thank God too, for my mama and the life we shared, for letting us grow close with the passing of time. I pray the same for every mother and child.
In the end, like the petals of that Mr. Lincoln, everything we can see, eyes of mothers who love us; we can hear, heartbeats of mothers which wake us to life, and we can touch, hands of mothers who keep us safe and hold us close; all fall away into eternity.
In the end, only the memories remain and little reminders along the way of the happy times, when a boy and his mama left a trail of petals flying in the wind, behind a pickup truck rolling down a country road on Mother’s Day.
“They’ll come back,” my mama said when all the blooms blew off my Mr. Lincoln between town and home. She was right. Those velvety petals of red, came back just like the little red cardinal that likes to watch over me this time of year.
Lord, how I wish my mama could come back too, for one more hug, one more kiss on the cheek, one more, “I love you.”
“Things don’t work like that,” was something else she said. She was right.
In the end, it all falls away; time robs us of what can see, and touch, and hear, and leaves us with the most important things, the love we share, if only for a little while, teaching us that we are not passing through life but rather life is passing through us.
“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
This is dedicated to our mothers.
Happy Mother’s Day
-Edward Reed 2020