A letter to my mom.
|A Rosebud 'Bout to Bloom
by Marilyn Mackenzie
Have I told you lately that I love you? I do, you know, even if I don't tell you as often as I should.
It's funny how our minds work, Mom.
It's hard to believe, but recently the six-month anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy passed. That event, both when it originally happened and when the six months had passed and the TV networks all covered it all over again, reminded me of a tragedy from my own childhood. The WTC tragedy, for some reason, reminded me of when our President, John F. Kennedy, was killed. People have always asked, "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" Now they ask, "Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001?"
The thought process is, indeed, bizarre. In a matter of moments, my mind flashed from scenes of airplanes crashing into tall buildings in New York City and then sped back in time to the scene of President JFK riding in a car in Dallas. You know my mind has never liked dwelling on negatives. Not Ms. Merry Sunshine's mind. So, just as quickly, other memories of that year flooded my mind, much like an old movie being fast-forwarded or rewound on the VCR.
I saw myself in the sixth grade, then in French class. (That's where I was when we learned that JFK had been shot.) I saw the basement of the junior high school where we sixth graders were hidden away. There were too many of us, the peak of the baby boomer generation, to fit into the elementary school classrooms. But we were too young and innocent to mingle with the junior high students. So they hid us away in the basement. Remembering, I could almost feel the cold of those underground classrooms and smell the damp, moist air of the basement, as my mind recalled the good and the bad of that year.
The Beatles were popular, as were the Beatles' cards that we "flipped for" during lunch recess. We still had outdoor recesses back then, and physical education classes every day. P.E. included the President's fitness programs, programs JFK introduced as guidelines for children's fitness.
My mind suddenly flashed to another time and place. (That's the way our minds work.) We were at a mother/daughter banquet. Both of my grandmothers were there and I was at the front of the room, reciting a poem, a poem I think you wrote for the occasion. It began, "Grandma, you've been watching me, and glancing 'round the room. I'll bet you compare me to a rosebud 'bout to bloom."
My memories stopped racing backwards at the moment, and the picture of me standing in front of a room full of mothers, daughters and grandmothers was etched in my brain. It was as if someone had pressed the pause button; my mind movie had been stilled.
"A rosebud 'bout to bloom." Yes, Mom, I'm about to bloom again - into a fifty-year-old woman. AARP and some stupid RV club have been the first to wish me a happy birthday and to welcome me into a group of almost senior citizens, even though the big event doesn't really happen until April 13.
I've learned so much from you, Mom. I've learned about strength and love and joy. Although my strength and love and joy come from the Lord, and I've learned to lean on Him, I learned these qualities first from you.
This is such a big year for our entire family, with three young ones turning eighteen and beginning their adult lives, myself turning 50 and Dad turning 75. What milestones these are!
You are facing some milestones of your own, having just discovered that Dad's strange behavior has a name. As you and Dad face together his newly diagnosed conditions of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, know that you are in my thoughts and prayers many times each day. But know as well, that your first born, your big little girl, is still watching you and copying you from afar.
You've taught me so much about life, Mom. May you continue to be one from whom I can glean wisdom, one whose strength, love and joy I can mirror.
Mirror, mirror on the wall. I am my mother after all. May it always be so! May I continue to miror the good qualities of you, my mother.
"Mamma you've been watching me, and glancing 'round the room. I'll bet you compare me to a rosebud 'bout to bloom."
I love you, Mom, even if I don't tell you as often as I should.