When I think of my Mom

When I think of my Mom, I think of a thirteen- and fourteen-year-old who lost both her parents within a year's time, and how that must have been for her.  Her hair then was still fashioned into two long braids, and when I look at this picture, Elizabeth Walton comes to mind.  She was so young, and her deep blue eyes held so much knowledge and pain...and hope.

When I think of my Mom, I think of the young woman who wore a voluminous, pale blue taffeta gown to her prom; a gown I wore every weekend (at least) to do chores, and put on plays with friends, when I was nine, ten, eleven...How did she feel in that gorgeous gown?
As pretty as I did? As coy as I did, when I patiently waited for the handsome newspaper delivery boy to bring the Saturday paper, flinging open the door in my yesteryear finery, blushing and fumbling in spite of my bravado as I took the paper?

When I think of my Mom, I think of the woman whose heart was broken, and who returned to New Hampshire with her three children in tow, back into the warm fold of her family.  When I look back at that time, I can see so much more now than I could then.  I can see the fear, and the sorrow, and the hunger when she went without so her children would  have what they needed.  And I can see the strength, and the resilience.

When I think of my Mom, I think of the woman who watched two sons go into the military, proud of their choices, and not letting her worries get the best of her when they were thousands of miles away.  I think of the woman who stood by her baby's bedside after he'd been in a horrible car accident, not knowing if he would survive his injuries, but knowing she had the strength to see him through the ordeal, whatever the outcome.

When I think of my Mom, I think of  the woman who had to say too-early goodbyes to a brother and a sister, and who struggled with immense grief, and eventually found a way to manage it without denying it.

When I think of my Mom, I think of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny.  I think of, "I found you the perfect Christmas gift" (uttered with sly glee in September), Chocolate Charlotte, butterscotch rolls, lasagna, potato salad, and gin and tonics.

When I think of my Mom, I want to freeze time, because I can't imagine my world without her.

I love you, Mom.

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