Friday, March 27, 2009

Winifred Pearl

I woke up this morning before daylight and heard the bluebirds defending their new roost in the house on our back fence. Sounded like the chickadees were trying to horn in and being quite the pests. I lay there a while longer and felt the cold nose of a Labrador Retriever on my hand. Seconds later my sweet bride was scratching my back and asking me if I was ok. Funny, I was sure that today had been cancelled here on planet earth. I'll draw upon perhaps the oldest cliche of all and declare that life will go just has a hole in it now.
As she was taking her last breaths yesterday afternoon I told my Mother we would miss her. I told her I'd think about her everyday. I told her she'd still be here every Thanksgiving when I cooked the turkey and dressing she'd taught me to make. I told her she'd still be there every Christmas when I made a plate of her potato candy. Most of all I promised her I'd never again let the Atlanta Braves make the first or last out at home or irritated her terribly when a baserunner let his ego write a check his legs couldn't cash.
When I was a young child - I don't know, maybe 7 or 8 years old - I had a terrible case of pneumonia. Ended up in Crawford Long Hospital for several days. The night before I was admitted to the hospital I remember running a high fever and shivering while Mother held me in her arms. She was singing that "Sunshine" song. "You are my sunshine, my only make me happy when skies are gray. You'll never know dear, how much I love you,,please don't take my sunshine away..." Over the last week, on one of the nights I spent at the hospital with her, she was restless, moaning, agitated and in pain. It was about 3:30 in the morning and I felt like the two of us were alone in the world. So I grabbed her hand and returned the favor and sang her that "Sunshine" song. I thanked God Almighty that the song still has magical powers to calm the sick and nervous. She gave my hand a squeeze and went to sleep, finally. I realized, once again, that life comes full circle. She was now the baby and I was now the adult.
She'd be pleased with my breakfast this morning - a bowl of grits and a cup of strong coffee...two of the finer things in life she taught me to appreciate. She'd be glad that I got out of bed in the first place and allowed our world to keep turning. It's still turning,,,it's just a lot emptier now.


Elisabeth said...

Thank you for all that you've shared with us about your mom - our lives are richer because of it. You, your bride and your family are in our prayers. May the richness of the life you shared together be your peace during this time. We love you.

Sherryl said...

My dear Freeman family,

For all of us who spent time in your home and knew your wonderful mother, your loss is our loss. Her love and kindness greeted us at the door. If it was dinner time, a plate was always available. I never figured out how she knew that "company" was coming when we didn't know ourselves until the last minute.

To this day when we have chili I MUST have it served over rice with cheese. Effie introduced me to that culinary delight. I think of her every time chili is served in our home.

Right now it feels as if the world is crashing and burning. Grief has no timeline. It is a journey htat each of you must travel alone at times, with each other, but always with God's help. A day will come when the first thing you think of in the morning is not your mother's absence, but her life. Then you will know that your are reaching the other side of grief.

Tim, your beautiful words fill my eyes with tears and my heart with love. Love for each one of you.

How fortunate I am that you allowed me to share your mother with you.

With heartfelt love and sympathy,

Kimberly said...

Dammit Tim! You have me laughing and then now I am sobbing. What is with that?! I am sorry you lost your mother. That whole thing about "full circle," is just that..."FULL!" You were so blessed and I am sure still blessed to this day. My mother died in 1988 at the grand age of 45. I just turned 46 years old. I also took care of my grandmother who also had the big "A" and I watch it strip the person I love. All I can say is that the pain subsides and the memories take over. So, live longer than your mother...I plan on doing this, too!

I dig your blog.