A few weeks ago, I came across this photo of my mother in a box filled with other such photos. This one struck me, though. This one seems the perfect summation of my mother and who she was. She was Jackie-O, Lucille Ball, Keira Knightly, with a dab of Marilyn Monroe thrown in for good measure. She was as comfortable in a ball gown as she was in chaps and boots. She rode a horse to school and was the first of her family to graduate college.
She was a beauty! She put up with my Dad, for God’s sake, usually with some comment like, “This too shall pass.” She always offered him more than he deserved, he always responded with less than appropriate. Still, she’d just smile and say, “This too shall pass.”
Sometimes we’d have a special lunch with broccoli and little lamb chops and we’d sit at the table with our toes touching, our talk weaving light and laughter through it, like we were fashioning some intricate lace of what it was to be female. She was a Republican, but I forgive her for that because that was before the Neo-cons. She would have had a word or two about those folks, and it wouldn’t have been generous or gracious. Or even lady-like. She loved Goldwater, but refused to vote for him because he was, as she put it, “filled with the nonsense of war.”
She’s been gone a very long time. Thirty-two years now.
She’s still here, though. I catch a glimpse of her sometimes when I look sideways into a mirror. She moves my tongue now and then with one of her pithy no-nonsense statements. This too shall pass. For God’s sake, don’t be a doormat for anyone. These Republicans are gonna be the death of me yet.
She didn’t die of Republicanism, but because an undetected aortic aneurysm blew apart at 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before Mother’s Day. I’d like to think, though, that were she alive today, she’d be a Momma for Obama and that the outspoken Joe Biden would be her hero.
I guess it’s okay that I’m a Democrat. Mom would simply make us a special lunch of broccoli and little lamb chops and with her wry sense of humor, tell me, “This too shall pass.”