I’d call her my ‘golden treasure’ … she was my world.
She’d look down at me, smiling at the dandelions in my little hand and would reach to take them.
She had no time for stick figures and a thousand versions of the sun, the silly lyrics I’d write, my tiny voice asking her to sit and listen to us sing or do some ridiculous acrobatic move. She truly had no time and yet she always found it.
I remember trips to the park, picking blackberries and the tales I’d ask her to tell.
I also remember her exhausted look when we added to her work. We were oblivious as she bathed us again because we thought splashing in mud puddles was a stupendous idea. We didn’t have a care in the world; she carried the burdens.
She worked horrible shifts. We were struggling then and yet she and Dad made sure we never felt it. She put so much love into everything she made and did for us.
She felt she lost us one by one. Where did the kids that gave her ‘weed bouquets’ go? Was it lonely for her when we weren’t as dependent? She was there for every disappointment and heartbreak. I’m sure the bandages, fevers and even the chicken pox were fond memories during the years she was desperate to make things better but couldn’t.
We always felt loved … even when she wanted to ring our necks. She survived every disrespectful thing we said and there were enough.
She was a child of hardship … and in some ways so were we. The task of preparing one’s kids for the world is huge. She shaped us to be tough as nails and yet remain loving. I realize now it is an art.
Now she rests her weary hands, but her mind will worry for the rest of her life as she has since the very first cry. When I handed her yellow tulips today I realized I wasn’t looking at a queen or a perfect being… I was looking at a warrior.