I remember the unbearable earaches I had when I was in kindergarten and first grade. My mother would lay my head on her lap and pour warm olive oil in my ear. Probably one of those old wives tales. It felt good for a moment, but it didn’t last. This was before you could put tubes in little ears to relieve the waxen impasse.
But somehow, as I lay there in pain and crying, she would look into my listless eyes, rub my head and comfort me. “IThere there, Greggie boy. I know, honey…I know.”
My mom’s name was Irene. She knew about comforting her children. When my father left for the Aleutian Islands during World War II, she was pregnant with her first child. In the early months after her birth she found that my sister had leukemia. She lived 5 months. The most poignant photo I remember of my mother, was her holding Mary Corene about two weeks before she died, her eyes looked so weary and sad.
My mother did so much more than that for me as I grew to be a man. . Things for which my brother, sister and I are forever grateful, and could never repay.
It’s not national Mother’s Day, but I’m thinking about my her just now. I love this poem by an unknown author. Its not profound, but it’s a beautiful image.
AS MY MOTHER KEPT A GARDEN
My Mother kept a garden.
A garden of the heart;
She planted all the good things,
That gave my life it’s start.
She turned me to the sunshine,
And encouraged me to dream:
Fostering and nurturing
The seeds of self-esteem.
And when the winds and rains d came,
She protected me enough;
But not too much, she knew I’d need
To stand up strong and tough.
Her constant good example,
Always taught me right from wrong;
Markers for my pathway
To last my whole life long.
I am my Mother’s garden,
I am her legacy.
And I hope today she feels the love,
Reflected back from me.