Friday, May 08, 2009


. . . a day set aside to celebrate the one who birthed us and all who nurture us.

My mother: My right thumb has a small rise on the knuckle exactly like hers. I see her rolling balls of yeast dough in her hands making buns; creating the divinity I've never been able to duplicate; serving grasshopper pie after a large meal; playing the "The 12th Street Rag" on the piano; hands folded in her lap when we needed to tell her something; creating my tap dancing dress from yards of lavender gingham; canning green beans; putting Denver mud on my chest. In my mind she is always there, alive, well, helpful and beautiful. Love knows no bounds. It connects hearts forever.

Grandmother Mae: My namesake, her cut finger wrapped in a white cloth. Work didn't stop, she maneuvered around it making apple dumplings and fixing chicken and dumplings for Grandpa and I when I was in high school. Quilting is her testimony to salvaging the beauty of the worn and frayed.

Aunt Bobbe: My cheerleader who laughed at my jokes. She'd "do" my nails and take it off before I went home. Not acceptable for little girls, according to Dad. I missed her the most. She passed before I understood we shed our body to live in changed form; she's still my cheerleader.

My sister, Janis: Slim fingers with polished nails. I see her as a child holding a baby chick to her ear to hear it peep. Her home is large enough for all of us for dinner. It thrills her to cook for Thanksgiving, as if feeding an army, and she gets excited making travel plans. No matter what she's into, her hands stay soft and smooth.

Corrie: My favorite second child. "Mom," she'd say exasperated, "you can't have more than one second child." That's why she's my favorite. Her hands have slim, smooth piano fingers that make great music and fluffy crochet. I see her lovingly cupping their dog, Maggie's, face.

Krysia: Her hands were small with wider knuckles like mine and Mother's. She used her index fingers to type, made quiche and remodeled. Her hands stayed smooth. What bothered her most about my caring for her was what it did to my hands: frequent washing made them rough, crack and bleed.

Carol, more than a daughter-in-law, a friend: Large hands, large heart, good cook. She takes her time, makes a mean shrimp dip, perfectly fried fish, creamed asparagus, rhubarb crisp. Always kind, she is a there when needed.

To all who nurture here and from beyond, thank you, thank you for uplifting life. God Bless and Happy Mother's Day.

2009 Red Convertible Travel Series

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