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Of Art & Books & Family

I spent the day with my mother.  She's 86; suddenly more frail.  Not the indomitable woman of my youth.

how soon the child-dreamer 
becomes the elder - 
the matriarch
falling failing

In less than an hour impatience is telling me to leave. I start plotting when and how . . . but then an inspiration . . . or maybe just good luck:  my mother has a history book of the town where she still lives.  The town of my birth and where I grew up. 

I began reading to her:  stories of immigration from Ireland, Canada and Italy. Stories of entrepreneurs and other dreamers. Of war and returning heroes. Its pages dotted with the landscape of our lives: my old dance instructor, friends, family, neighbors, our church, my school.  All are witness to the overgrowth of a town to a city. Reading became the event of the day.

my mother can no longer see well enough to read 
she who gave me a love of books
and read to me of girl-dreamers
and boy-seekers

of adventure, mystery and lore
now i read to her

I read of stories that become fodder 
for remembrances to share
for her oral history 
stories that expand in this larger context

the day was saved
her anger dissipated
my impatience assuaged

I felt a better person
a sigh
she laughed
hugged me
said how happy
was the day

Original art work 
uploaded by PatStudio


Phyllis said...

Such a lovely story. I well recall these times with my mother when she was aging. A spontaneous gesture or act could recreate and save the hours together so that it seemed special when it came time to leave. And now those are the memories that have stayed with me.

Pat said...

oh thank you Phyllis for these affirming and encouraging words. they mean a great deal during this difficult time.....

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