February 22, 2012

And So It Comes

My mama turned ninety recently. It's amazing to me that she is this old. I would be surprised if I didn't know her. Sometimes I still think of her as I did when I was six and she was just forty-five. Always the calm provider for her large flock. Ironing in the afternoon sunlight as I came through the door from grammar school, looking for an afternoon snack. Homemaker extraordinaire.

Toasting her on her birthday.

She is standing strong still. Almost always optimistic, and welcoming, and steady. So level headed and reassuring. With a warmth that to me is unexplainable. Somehow when I was young I made a connection between her and Pillsbury pop and fresh dough. You might remember the tube that you tapped on the edge of the counter and out popped ten little sweet smelling rolls, ready for the warm oven.

Strange, I know!

Mom and her friend at the party.

Since my Dad died, almost eleven years ago, she has marched on. Bringing us all forward. The threads of his life interwoven in her life still, and ours. Sometimes I feel that she is all that we have left of him.

And I know that from here, that if she is fortunate, she will grow older and older. Perhaps she will reflect and re-experience the beauty of her life as her days grow slower. I say this because I have experienced it with someone else before.

And luckily for me, I will be her gate keeper. I will be holding her hand.

I will be her protector now, and her provider, seeing her through to the end.