It’s a cloudy day, forecast of rain, it’s my Mom’s Birthday. I haven’t seen her since October 11th 1981; it was also a cloudy, cool day in Ohio.
The first years were the hardest, every holiday lacked color.
I wonder to myself, “how many candles would be on her cake today?”
It takes me a minute to do the math, the answer is 90.
Color me envy and compassion as I listen to my friends talk about their aging parents.
Sitting in silence, I talk to my mom.
Me: “Happy Birth Day Mom, it’s me, your youngest daughter.”
Mom: “Thanks honey, of course I know it’s you.”
Me: “I miss you, always…”
Mom: “There’s no need, I’m always with you, just like before, remember, a mother has eyes in the back of her head.”
Me: “So do you still have Sunday dinners, where you invite absolutely everyone?”
Mom: “Oh, honey we have Sunday moments all the time, everyone is everywhere, when needed, our work is at the table of life.”
Me: “So, is it you that leaves me pennies?”
Mom: “Yes, of course.”
Me: “You know it would be okay if you left millions.”
Mom: (laughing) “If I left you more, you wouldn’t work so hard, you need to keep working hard, what you do matters.”
Me: “It doesn’t feel like I’m doing much, I’m not changing the world, not saving lives, not helping to heal the world.”
Mom: “When you get up here, I’m going to spank you for that kind of thinking.”
Me: (Wonders if there are paddles in Heaven)
Mom: “We start with one act and like a stone cast into the sea, it ripples out and touches others. One student at a time, one at a time is enough
Me: “Oh you’re talking about me teaching music.”
Mom: “No honey, I’m talking about your life, you’ve been learning and teaching since the moment you were born.”
Me: “Do you think it’s enough?”
Mom: “It’s more than enough, you’re more than enough. Remember what I use to tell you all the time?”
Me: “Yes, do the best you can, that’s all anyone can expect.”
Mom: “Yes, now share what I taught you. Reach a little higher for what you want, it’s all there, just waiting for you.”
Me: “And you?”
Mom: “Yes, I’m here waiting for you too, so do your work while you’re there.”
Me: “Happy Birth Day Mom, I love you, I wish we were together”
Mom: “We are, I love you too, Katrina Jeanne.”
In the Picture:
Before my Mom passed, she wrote each of us kids a letter, I keep my on the wall. It’s one of my most prized possessions.