Based on the prompt of Louis Armstrong's song
My mom loved Louis Armstrong. I knew the family would be getting together for a party when our house started to fill with the aroma of the the day’s cooking and baking. As the sun began to set, she threw one of his albums on.
The first song she’d play, to get in a festive mood, was “Hello Dolly.” Oh, how I loved to see my mother’s face beam. She worked very hard to prepare the meal for the guests and I could tell she was very proud of what she had accomplished. She sang along with Louis while she freshened her make-up and chose her outfit for the evening.
We kids, my siblings and cousins, would have the kitchen to ourselves, with a TV going and only a few channels to choose from at the time. Our table was filled with all the goodies, and we enjoyed each other’s company almost as much as my parents enjoyed their time together with the special people in their lives.
The music changed throughout the evening. We kids didn’t care, we could shut the door to the kitchen and still hear the television program. Saturday was the horror story night, which we loved.We were quite brave watching it, because there was safety in numbers.
Dean Martin, crooned out “That's Amore" followed by Frank Sinatra’s, “Young at Heart.” There was much laughter emanating from the big room.
Later in the night, as the party started to wind down, Louis Armstrong made another “appearance” with an old favorite, “What a Wonderful World.”
That was many, many years ago. I often think about those days when extended family gathered under one roof to enjoy food, music and each other’s company. We learned many lessons about the importance of family and togetherness.
When my own family moved out West, Mom came to visit us, sharing time with her grandchildren and by then, a great grandchild. He was graduating from Kindergarten and his class put on a little show for parents and relatives. At the end of the show, each little cherub voice, sang, “What A Wonderful World.” Mom’s eyes and mine, as well as most of the parents in the hall were tearing-up. We were awe-struck.
Now, when I listen to this song, I can’t help but let the tears flow. I think about Mom. She requested the song be played after her funeral. There we stood by the grave, all the surviving family and friends, the grandchildren, and those cousins who shared the kitchen table with us decades ago. The silence was broken following the parting prayers, and then a button was pushed. There it was, Louis Armstrong’s recording, “What A Wonderful World.” That was nearly two years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday. I still cry when I hear the song.
I miss you Mom!