Sunday, June 1, 2014

Until We Meet Again

Yesterday was my mother's Homegoing Service. I am still in disbelief. Nothing had changed at moms. She went about her daily life as usual and was anticipating returning to Georgia this summer. I spoke to her on Saturday night and earlier in the week we talked for over an hour on the phone. On Sunday my brother called me in distress and stated that she was gone. We spoke on the phone almost daily and I visited sometimes after work or on weekends when we went shopping. On the day she passed she was preparing to bake a pound cake to bring to my house for Memorial Day. She had prepared her Sunday dinner on the stove. In recent years I have thought about what I would do if my mother was not here, but never thought that the day was sooner than I knew. 

It's only been a few days since she left but I find myself thinking, let me call mom and ask her, but I remember I can't ask mom or hear her voice for the rest of the days of my life. I'm glad I watched her cook and asked many questions, but I still have questions. My mother was my biggest supporter. She often worried about me telling me to take care of my self, get some rest, and don't try to do so much. When she shopped and thought of items she felt I would wanted she bought them. 

When the weather was bad due to snow or rain storms she always called me to tell me to drive safely and leave early to give myself extra time. Many times I called her from work to let her know I arrived safely. She called me back after work to make sure I arrived home safely. If it snowed, she wanted me to take my time shoveling. I will miss her at family nights where we have a card game, eat, laugh, and enjoy family time. Every flower show except one, I have attended with my mother. Next year will be different.

I will remember her stories of family. My mother was born and raised in Georgia. I realize as I write this that I don't know if she was born in the house I am familiar or in an earlier home before my grandparents bought the home where we later spent time. I will have to ask my uncle. She was the second oldest children of six. She attended school in Georgia and around 17 came to Philly during the summer to visit her oldest sister Ollie Mae who had migrated here. She never returned to Georgia to live but enrolled in high school here. She later married my father and were blessed with myself, my sister, and brother.

I remember so many stories my mother told. After my grandfather came out of the military he did clerical/accounting work. As a result of a disagreement with another employee he was told that the Klu Klux Klan would be at his home that night. My mother told me that grandad came home and told my grandmother that when night came everyone had to get up under the bed and turn off all the lights. Unknown to him at the time, his employer interceded for him and no one came to the house.  I hope this does not offend anyone, but it's my history and this was a reality in the South when my mother was growing up.

I remember when I was a child visiting my grandmother with mom, my aunt and uncle worked on the farm. My mother also did when she still lived at home. The man who owned the farm would come early in the morning with a pick up truck to get them. They picked cotton, peanuts, and tobacco. What ever was in season. The town she lived in is small with a traditional small town main street. There was one movie theater. Of course the court house, and stores such as Belks, Harvey's, and Piggly Wiggly. My mother and siblings often talked about how the theater was segregated and blacks had to sit up stairs, and whites down stairs. There were also different water fountains. 

I have so many memories and I will cherish them. It's just too soon. I know I will see her again when my time comes. My mom fought a good fight, she finished her course, she kept the faith.

Our Mother 
© Kathy J Parenteau 

Once upon a time an angel held our hand; 
She wiped away our tears and helped us understand. 
Our time on earth is brief, there's lessons to be learned, 
Each precious day God gives us another page is turned. 

Every chapter full of memories, times of joy and tears, 
Triumphs and defeats, through every passing year. 
She loved us unconditionally, always by our side, 
When no one else would listen, in her we could confide. 

With gentle words of wisdom she led us on our way, 
Down the paths of righteousness if ever we did stray. 
She saw the light in everyone and gave with no regrets, 
Always from her heart let's not forget. 

Angels come in many forms, for us it is our mother, 
With love we cannot say in words there'll never be another. 
Every day we turn the page in our heart will ever remain, 
Everything she taught us as we stroll down memory lane. 

Thank you God for giving us the most priceless of all treasures, 
Help my Lord to keep alive her memory here forever. 
We pray that we can someday be everything she hoped we would, 
That's she smiling down from heaven knowing she did good. 

As we gather here today there's no ending to her story, 
Another chapter has begun full of grace and glory. 
God's called her to his heavenly home, part of his great plan, 
Although it may be hard, we all must understand. 

Faith is what is hoped for, things we cannot see, 
Heaven is promised to all of us if only we believe

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