Posted by: ktzefr | May 6, 2016

Moms, Memories, and Magic…

IMG_1051I miss my mom in the spring time.  She used to visit when the cherry trees bloomed and stayed to help me plant the impatiens and petunias.  One year she packed in her suitcase the lilac from my grandmother’s yard and an almond tree twig from her own.  They are mature bushes now with purple and pink flowers.  She was here when we planted the snowball “bush” that has become one of the favorite neighborhood trees.  And the butterfly bush that almost died two winters ago sprang back to life last year filled with blooms and butterflies.  She bought it for me on one of her visits. 

I miss my mom in the summer.  We always went to see her in Kentucky for a few days and some of my most relaxing times were spent sitting on the carport listening to the birds that frequented her feeders or the rain on the roof – depending on the weather.  She went to the beach with us every year and, even into her nineties, she enjoyed sitting under an umbrella with her toes in the sand watching the waves.

ImageWhen the strawberries ripened she made the best strawberry cobbler that money couldn’t buy.  We picked blackberries together as we had done in the woods back home.  In those days it was a hot, prickly chore amongst the briars that resulted in scratches and chiggers. But I found a farm in Virginia that planted the variety with no thorns and the “patch” was set out in lovely landscaped rows.  The berries were plump and sweet and perfect.  Summers were fun.

I miss my mom in the autumn.  One of the last times she came to stay with us she needed a pacemaker and had to have surgery.  She was 92.  Once she had recuperated, we decided to drive down to the beach for the day.  It was October.  Sunny, cool, breezy.  I made sure we had sweaters, sunglasses, hats.  She didn’t have her summer bonnet that she usually wore to the beach, so I had to find a substitute that would fit.  It was a big, gaudy hat with a leopard print sash that tied around the neck, but she didn’t mind.  Her favorite saying at such times was this: “I’m not going to see anybody I know anyhow.”

Image (2)It was only after we were an hour or more into the drive – probably about the time we were crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge – when Mom looked down at her feet and started laughing.  She had forgotten her shoes!  The old pink terry cloth house slippers would have to do.  No time to turn around if we were going to do this in a day.  So we drove on.  We went to a favorite restaurant in Bethany Beach and had crab cake sandwiches and iced tea, sat on the boardwalk and watched the waves, and laughed and talked to everyone who chose to sit for a while beside us on a bench by the sea.  Mom in her pink house slippers and clip on sunglasses and straw hat with the leopard sash was a hit.  I don’t recall how I looked, but, considering the number of folks who stopped to chat with strangers, we must have looked pretty cool together.  

I miss my mom every winter.  She came for Christmas when our son was little and always slipped downstairs with him on Christmas morning to see what Santa had left under the tree.  She would clear her throat loud enough to wake us as they passed our bedroom.  During the holidays, we played board games and worked puzzles, decorated and then took down the tree, cooked and cleaned up messes.  Mom made apple stack cake using every cake pan I could find as she liked to have at least six layers.  And her peanut butter candy was so good we always had to have a piece before it cooled.  When we got snowed in or lost the electricity we lit candles, built a fire, put on more quilts.  Mom worked her magic in quiet ways.  She got us to laugh about things when we really wanted to be anxious or angry or disappointed.  She’d seen a lot in her life and knew that “little troubles” were not worth the effort. 

Image (3)She enjoyed piecing quilts by hand in the living room’s natural light and carried her portable tape player around with her.  Often when I worked in the kitchen, I heard her singing along with the gospel music – Rock of Ages, I’ll Fly Away, Precious Memories.  She could be calm and content even as the world around her spun out of control.  And she could always find the silver lining. 

I miss my mom, and I miss the little bits of wisdom she shared.  I try to laugh even when it’s hard to find a reason to, and I remember to at least look for a silver lining.

I also like to sing along with the music...Precious mem’ries, how they linger/ how they ever flood my soul/ in the stillness of the midnight/ precious, sacred scenes unfold…


HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY…and happy memories!!!




  1. Beautiful! This brought tears to my eyes as I remembered my own dear mother.

    • Thanks so much, Caren. Memories are sometimes difficult — and magical!

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. Although I never knew her I can tell that she was a sweetheart!

    Sent from my iPad


  3. This was a wonderful tribute to our Mom. Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories that I often think of, but can never put into words. I can see, in you, so many of her qualities when it comes to your son. You too are a great mother. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, little Sis.

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