In honor of the Blessed Mother and my own, I’m taking the tentative step of going back on the air.
This site holds a lot of pain, growth, and tears. Part of me would like to delete it. But tomorrow is Mother’s Day, so I will hold off on housekeeping and refocus for now.
God was so good to give me a mother who, like Our Lady, was “full of grace”. My memories of her as a young lady are that she was always composed, lovely, and capable. When she and my father would hold dinner parties – back in the days when young adults still wore formal attire for such events – my brother and I would peek through the slats in the hallway door. Mama (as we called her) would seemingly float around the room, the perfect hostess, effortlessly filling glasses while complimenting her guests, graciously receiving compliments of her own.
As we grew older and life changed, she took on the role of business partner, helping my father realize his dream of opening an art school. Holberg Fine Arts Academy remained afloat for several years in no small part due to my mother’s capabilities as a bookkeeper, receptionist, and even amateur ad executive. When my parents decided to close up shop, in her humility, my mother expressed concern about finding work “in the real world”. My father could only laugh, knowing she was the best assistant he ever had – and he told her so. Sure enough, in no time at all she landed administrative work, and she carried that through to retirement, after which she gave those skills back to God, following footprints in the sand to become her church’s secretary.
Shortly after retiring from there, she was struck with polymyalgia, followed by the big “C” and all its accoutrements. Years later, after chemotherapy, radiation, and many sleepless nights, she and my stepfather were finally beginning to put their lives back together when COVID hit. Thanks be to God, their church family helped make sure they knew they were never alone, sending goodies and stopping by for outdoor visits whenever possible.
While our stepfather, my brother, and I have not been very close, one of the things we all agree on is that my mother is the best person we’ve ever known on this planet, and our stepdad has treated her like a queen every day of their marriage. I thank God for him and his faithfulness.
During my own difficult times, in spite of my efforts to prevent burdening her from two states away, my mother took it upon herself to call me nearly every day for a decade or more. At one point, a doctor in Paris, KY told her the best medicine for me would be to accept who I was, where I was, and just love me – God bless him! (Mom always did have a fondness for France…)
When she began her treatments, I was privileged to return the favor, calling her each day in turn. Through these hundreds, if not thousands of hours of phone calls, we have become best friends, sharing all of the joys and sufferings of these difficult times.
It has now been about 3 years since I’ve seen my mother, other than in photographs and in videos. Her hair is different… her shape not quite the same… but her eyes and her smile hold the same warmth and comfort they have all my life.
So I lift a virtual glass to toast my sweet mother… Most call her Becky… I’m blessed to call her Mom.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. ❤