Memories of our Mother

Mom lay quietly in her bed these days, her last stroke destroyed half of her brain, her ability to move on her own, and her ability to communicate with more than a few one syllable words. She is waiting.

When I visit her I  sorrow.  Her tiny body is weak, her face still beautiful.  Half of her body does not move.  But her eyes…her eyes sometimes still burn with that flame of life that has carried her through so much.  At those times I feel a surge of hope, unwarranted hope, that perhaps she will pull back from this determination of death.

Each time I visit, she looks at me, and her eyes are tender, telling me so much with a look or a small smile.  As I sit and talk, she watches, nods, responds for a bit.

Sunday we talked of the past, growing up on her farm.

Our Mom had chickens, many chickens that lived in a good-sized chicken house,  surrounded by a tall dog – proof fence that was partly roofed by the large branches of overgrown apple trees.  Watching them was a wonder, they scratched about the dirt, heads bobbing, sometimes pecking at each other, other times mindlessly flapping their wings, chasing one another about the yard.  Autumn days, the apples hanging above their yard dropped down, some would ferment before the chickens devoured them, and then, I swear, the little creatures would eat the fermented apples, and chatter drunkenly about.

In the spring time Mom bought baby chicks, and nestled them in our basement, in a wire enclosure, with straw spread over the concrete floor.  Above she hung a warm light to keep them warm.  We could hear soft chirps and scratching coming up the stairs.  I was forbidden to touch them, but of course I did, cuddling their tiny bodies close to my face, smelling the freshness of their new beginning

At times it was my job to gather the eggs.   The chicken house was magical to me.  I entered it and the warm earthy smells of life rushed to greet me.  Hens laying in their boxes would let out soft, sleepy sounds. Reaching under them, my hands enjoyed the  cozy feathers of the creatures, and quietly as I could I pulled out warm eggs for the basket.

Always since, when I have been able, I have had chickens, and enjoyed again the beauty of new eggs, and mother hens.  One more of many parts of me left to me by our Mother,

Leaving home was the only thought in my mind when I turned 17, but now, nearing 60, I have learned that home has never left me.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Cre8tiveGang
    Dec 13, 2011 @ 11:06:37

    So beautiful … isn’t it lovely that memories cannot be erased from our hearts.
    Keeping you in our thoughts … everyday!


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