In my head, I’ve written a thousand lines about her, but now, nothing very eloquent seems to come to me. Which is probably very fitting because Mom was never much of a fancy-pants.
She was hilarious in that natural way that some people have. She never realized when she was being funny. Like the time when a car ran into the window at a restaurant, just a couple yards from where she was eating lunch. “Oh my Lord, Mom. What did you do?” I asked.
“Well, I finished my peach cobbler,” she said. “It came with the lunch, you know.”
She was very smart, too, an English major who graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University. But she didn’t go around quoting Shakespeare.
Um…you know what? She actually did quote Shakespeare and other literary luminaries like Sir Walter Scott. But not because she’d studied them at Vanderbilt. She shared her mother’s quotes, and so I do, too. And I suspect that someday my daughter will tell her kids, when caught in a lie, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”
And so Mom lives on. And life goes on, and these days, I often find myself remembering a line from a Christina Rossetti poem, Remember: “Better by far that you should forget and smile, Than that you should remember and be sad.”
Thank you for all the prayers and kind thoughts sent her way and mine. And finally, when I was looking for that Rossetti line, just to make sure I had it right, I saw a lovely sonnet, directly above Remember. I’d never seen the title and began to read. I hope Mom won’t mind me ending with a bit of fancy pants poetry, but it seemed heaven-sent today:
[Sonnets are full of love…]
Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome Has many sonnets: so here now shall be One sonnet more, a love sonnet, from me To her whose heart is my heart’s quiet home, To my first Love, my Mother, on whose knee I learnt love-lore that is not troublesome; Whose service is my special dignity, And she my loadstar while I go and come And so because you love me, and because I love you, Mother, I have woven a wreath Of rhymes wherewith to crown your honored name: In you not fourscore years can dim the flame Of love, whose blessed glow transcends the laws Of time and change and mortal life and death.