The little girl with the blonde braids and pink flowered bathing suit holds her mother’s hand on one side and her father’s hand on the other as she is lifted above the waves as they roll onto the shore. She squeals in delight as her toes skim the top of the frothy blue water. Their laughter fills the summer air.
Later, as the sun lowers into the deep blue lake, her head lowers as she peers into the Coke bottle filled with orange ladybugs she’s collected that day. She smiles up into the loving face of her mother who shepherds her toward the big old cottage surrounded by dune grass and tall pines. She looks forward to climbing into the big, brass bed and snuggling under piles of colorful handmade quilts as the rolling waves lullaby her to sleep.
I am so grateful for beautiful summers spent at the cottage with you and Dad. Because of those long, sparkling, sun-filled days, I embrace my love of being by the water.
~ ♥ ~
The young girl walks toward the library on a late spring day after school to meet her mother to walk together the short distance home for dinner. She enters the cool, quiet building that has the distinct smell of books, paper, and ink, and sinks into a big leather chair with the book her mother had picked out for her. As her eyes dance across the words, she is transported to another world. She looks up to see her mother watching her through the glass window of the office, and smiles.
I am so grateful for the love of the written word you instilled in me through the books you chose for me as a child.
~ ♥ ~
The young girl sits at the piano, chin quivering and smile turned upside down. Practice is not in her plans for the day, but the mother gazes sternly at her and points at the keys. She begrudgingly starts plunking out the notes to the song. The mother peeks around the corner and nods her head, smiling. Thirty minutes later, frown long gone, fingers flying across the keys…the music has captured the daughter's soul as her mother hums along in the kitchen.
I am so grateful for the piano lessons you gave me which taught me the love of music.
~ ♥ ~
The small girl in the shorts and tee shirt follows the mother out the door and together they walk into the back yard. Strung from the house to the garage is a long, white clothesline that crosses in front of a large, fragrant, purple lilac bush. The mother sets the laundry basket down and hangs up the clothespin bag, dropping a couple weathered clothespins into her daughter’s open hands. She pulls down the line as the daughter’s tiny feet arch up onto toes and she clips the pillow slip onto the line, her mother’s hands guiding. Sun warm on their heads as the clothesline fills with sweet smelling linens.
I am so grateful for sweet, simple times spent with you.
~ ♥ ~
The young girl stands at the kitchen counter between the mother and grandmother. All three wearing aprons. All three smiling and laughing. The grandmother shows the young girl the easiest and fastest way to slice apples. The mother bustles about the kitchen preparing canning jars and stirring the spicy, bubbling applesauce mixture on the stove. It’s a time of learning for the young girl. A time of teaching for the mother and grandmother. A time of bonding for all three. Three generations of love standing shoulder to shoulder.
Many years later, the adult daughter stands at the kitchen counter next to her mother. They both wear aprons. The mother hands each ingredient to the daughter. The spices are shaken into the zucchini mixture in the big ironstone bowl. The daughter asks a question that makes the mother smile and their heads touch in laughter. Loving memories of the grandmother need not be spoken. They are there. The room is filled with the smell of fresh, warm zucchini bread.
I am so grateful for the life lessons you taught me throughout the years.
~ ♥ ~
|Mother's Day - 2008|
The mother and daughter sit hip to hip in the golf cart. Daughter encouraging her mother in the driver's seat. The mother's eyesight at only a sliver of what it used be before radiation treatments years before. Nerves jangle, and anxious laughter fills the air. Her foot presses down tentatively on the pedal and the cart jumps forward. More nervous laughter erupts as family members clap and encourage. Hair soon blows in the wind as the mother realizes that she can do this as the cart flies across the yard. The daughter's heart is filled with happiness at the joy she sees on her mother's face.
I am so grateful for your courage and willingness to try new things, but most of all ~ your sweet laughter.
~ ♥ ~
The daughter stands at the foot of the hospital bed. The mother lays amidst the crisp, white sheets, complexion pale, eyes tired. She lays a hand on the aged hand and strokes it lightly. Prayers whispered quietly to the angels attending. So many times spent like this. So many times leaving stronger. So many gifts of healing from God over the years. So many answered prayers.
I am so grateful for your continued strength and determination ~ a true testament of the faith and trust that you have in our Lord Jesus Christ.
~ ♥ ~
The mother grasps the daughter’s arm as they make their way into the restaurant while the father parks the car. Rich Asian smells drift from the open door. Walking slowly, arm in arm, shoulders touching. The daughter feels the shaking warmth of her mother’s hand as she covers it with her own. Memories of holding hands and jumping waves stir inside her soul. Memories of lilac scented laundry, hospital rooms, applesauce, zucchini bread, and piano music wrap themselves softly around her heart. She silently prays that her mother will never let go of her hand.
Because she loves her so very much…
and still needs her...
to help her jump more waves.
I love you beyond words, Mom.
Happy Mother's Day ~
♥ [I created a booklet of these memories to give to my Mom for Mother's Day. Because of her recent Alzheimer's diagnosis, I wanted to give her something to help her remember the cherished times that we spent together in the past. It will be something that she can look at from time to time...and remember how very much I love her.]
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