Friday, September 01, 2006

A Place of Honor

This is a picture of part of our family room. The painting on the wall is what I am blogging about today. It was painted by one of my brothers as a Christmas gift for my mother on her last Christmas with us. The picture is of my mother and A when she was a baby. I took the picture and my mother always said someone should paint it. So, my SIL got my brother (not her husband) to paint it for her as a gift. It hung in a prominent place in the family home for the rest of my mother's life and well after. The last time we were home, last month, the painting had been moved to a bedroom upstairs because the room it was in was undergoing some renovation. As I lay in bed with the girls helping them to sleep, I looked at the painting on the wall and it spoke to me, you could say. I just had a feeling I needed to take it home with me, to protect it, to cherish it, to put it in a place of honor. After asking my brothers (not all, sorry, J) and father and SIL, that is just what I did.

Today, 35 years ago, is the day my mother became a mother for the first time. The painting captures my mother's spirit when it comes to children. The way she gave to children, cherished them, and reveled in them. She took children seriously, long before the movement of that name even began. She was a woman, a mother, ahead of her time.

And now she is gone from our physical world. But not from our hearts. She lives on in that painting, in mine and my childrens' blood, and in her legacy; in all the memories she made with us, FOR us. You see, for her, life was not worth living unless you made it worth remembering. She was always saying, "We're making memories here".

She was not perfect. None of us are. But she had a gift to share with the world that spoke of the perfection of life, if you only slowed down enough to notice. She knew how to live in the moment, for the future. How to live, now, as if it were your last moment, so that when tomorrow came you had wonderful memories to show you how good life really is.

I celebrate my birthday today, but will never forget that this is the day my mother became who she came here to be. Here's to you, Mama.


Flo said...

Okay, did you need to make me cry? Happy Birthday! (and Anniversary, too) ;)

heymom said...

Beautiful....and happy birthday!

cecile said...

Christine was amazing and was like my second mother. One of the last times I saw her, she was still so focused on creating memeories. She told me to continue making them and to not forget things. I still miss her a lot. Happy belated birthday and anniversary.