Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Myself, My Cousin, Her Two Babes and Ma on Mother's Day

I wasn't named after Dorothy from Oz.  I was named after my great-grandmother, Dorothy  or as I and the rest of my family refers to her as Ma.  She is a little French woman standing at 4’9” with hair and heels. Just the cutest thing you have ever seen.  I remember walking into her house and she would vacuum in stiletto heals.  I thought to myself, “I want to be like that!” For years now, when anyone would speak to my Ma she would just smile, nod and say “Yes”.  She has had trouble hearing for quite some time now.  She’s didn’t want to be disagreeable.  It wouldn’t matter what you were saying to her, she would just smile and nod so very sweetly.

The last time I held my Ma was this past Mother’s Day.  My cousin and I decided she shouldn’t be alone on Mother’s Day.  She’s 99 years old after all and this could be her last Mother’s Day that we will get to spend with her.  My Ma spent the day watching my cousin and I play with my cousin’s two little children.  We lucked out, It was a beautiful, sunny day.  After lunch, we set my Ma up on her yellow lawn chair while we played a mini game of softball with the kids.  My cousin and I reminisced about how magical this back yard was when we were children.  Ma was quite the gardener.  I remember eating the freshest vegetables from her garden. The pickles she made were the best I’ve ever tasted to this day. The yard still has a few flower beds and vegetables growing, but nothing like it’s hay day.  As a child I thought it was a mini farm, with rows and rows of vegetables and flowers blooming everywhere.  There were bird houses perched along the outer corners of the garden.  I would always try to peek inside to see if there were any baby birds hatching.  My Pa (Great-Grandfather) crafted stone walls that mapped out their backyard and I remember playing with my brothers, sisters and cousins in this back yard.  Jumping off the stone walls, playing hide and seek in the small forest behind the gardens. I remember taking walks in the back yard along a small stream and I would be alone with just my thoughts.  As a little girl, I remember the first person I would run to when I got to Ma’s house and that would be Ma.  My younger sister, Dewey, would sit on Pa’s lap and I would be on Ma’s.  My Ma and I would hold on tight to each other and she would play with my hair and offer me a cookie.  Aren’t grandmas the best!

Now, on this fine Mother’s Day my Ma and I are both older.  I watched her smile and look upon us with such pleasure as we all played in the sun.  She was so peaceful and happy looking at what she had created.  She watched her great-great children play with all the same toys as my cousin and I played with when we were their ages. When we left my Grandmother’s house that day she gave me a big hug.  She held onto me so tightly with all her might and whispered into my ear, “I am so proud of you.” I gave her a few kisses and started to cry for I have never heard these words from her before.  I have no idea why she is proud of me.  I haven’t done anything of great importance but at that very moment I felt proud of myself for no particular reason.  Just hearing those words come from her lifted me up.

My little Ma died this morning.  Even though she was 99 years old, it was too soon.  It’s always too soon when someone dies.  You always want one more moment.  The last moment between my little Ma and myself I will always treasure.  We held onto each other a little bit longer than usual, gave each other a few extra kisses and sweet words were exchanged between us.  It was a perfect moment.
Two Dorothys

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