A couple days ago I saw that a purple iris had popped open in our garden right behind the house. I’m trying to remember if I got the plant from Mom, because she grew purple irises behind her house too. I can’t look at it without thinking of her.
So many things have that effect on me. I miss Mama. I miss the person she was before Alzheimer’s. I miss the quirky and endearing and even angry ways she expressed herself with Alzheimer’s. Any little thing, or nothing at all, can trigger a memory that makes me smile or tear up.
When I hang sheets on the line, I remember handing Mom the clothespins when I was young as she hung our sheets and how wonderful they smelled at night. When I bake a cake I’m usually using one of her recipes and thinking about her as I mix it up.
The petunias my daughter gave me for Mother’s Day remind me of Mama’s planters overflowing with petunias. The lilacs my husband picked for me from our bushes, shout of Mama’s love for them and how she’d fill big vases with bouquets every spring. The aroma that fills the house sings of Mama.
Today I was scrubbing our kitchen sink with Comet, and I smiled, because Mom used Comet. And somehow as I sprinkled it in the sink I felt connected to her, when she was younger and strong. I scrubbed the powder around and then left the paste to set for awhile, as Mom did.
On Monday we washed our sheets. After I stripped the bed, I thought about how it was a cooler spring day and how Mom would often open the windows and close the bedroom doors on such a day, so the bed could get a good airing as she washed the sheets. So I did the same. I smiled as I cranked the windows open.
So many things through out the day whisper or shout Mama to me. I’m thankful I had a mom who gave me so many sweet memories. She gave me lessons and smiles that linger. She gave me unconditional love that continues to comfort me through my tears. She taught me to believe and trust and follow Jesus which gave me certain hope for eternity.
Even when the memories make me cry, I won’t avoid them. I’ll embrace them. I’ll treasure each memory because they are gifts from my Mama. They are my heritage. And they keep Mama close to my heart.
I think I’m going to go pick that iris now and put it in a vase.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4