Sunday, March 25, 2007

My greatest gift

I've been told I have her hands. Possibly the curly hair. Maybe even the smile.
When I have a good laugh, I like to think that I can hear her, enjoying the moment, watching her giggle until she cries, her cheeks a brilliant pink.
She laughed with her whole body. That's probably where I get it.
I wish I had a picture of her to share (can't figure out my scanner quite yet).

She's buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. My Daddy and I take her flowers every time I am in town. It's become something just he and I do together. He misses her, as do all of us.
Had she lived, my mother would have been 85 today.
Diabetes shortened her life. Dora, that was her name, died in 1991 at 69.
It's funny. Mom hated her name, but she'd be tickled to know that there's a little cartoon character girl with the same moniker who has her own TV show and millions of children all over the world love to go exploring with her.

I can't help but think of my Mom today -- I think of her everyday, actually.
And I imagine my big sisters are thinking of her, too, maybe doing little things that Mom liked to do, maybe cooking a meal she'd have cooked. Or maybe one or both of my sisters will sit at their pianos today and play classical songs from her sheet music collection. Torn and tattered, they are priceless to us.
Mom would sing and play the piano for us when we were kids, and I remember her enjoying her quiet time, playing Wagner and Tchaikovsky. Her favorite song was Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy.

Reluctant at first, she was my biggest supporter when I decided I wanted to be a journalist.
She wasn't too keen at me leaving home and town to go to college. But she and Daddy let me go, thanks to my big sister Margaret, who said I'd be crazy not to go since I was on a scholarship. After graduation when she started getting subscriptions to the newspapers I worked for and started reading my stories, she was hooked.
She'd call me her Brenda Starr girl reporter. I couldn't help but love it, Mom did it because she was proud.

She'd be a proud great-grandmother today, paying lots of attention to this little man, and waiting for her granddaughter's wedding next weekend. She'd walk down the aisle with Daddy, and they'd dance as well as two 80-somethings could, both of them crying with happiness.
I miss her, and the greatest gift she left me -- my family -- will endure forever.
Happy birthday Mom.


MotownRunnerGirl said...

This is so sweet. Happy Birthday Dora.

Sammy said...

Happy Birthday Dora. What a nice tribute, Liz.

Sarah said...

She would be so proud of you, baby.