Friday, May 23, 2008

Shirlene Siddoway Davidson, 8/20/34 - 5/24/98

When I was in the first grade, my parents made arrangements to pick me up after school so that we could go to visit my grandparents. It was a cold and rainy afternoon, so I waited inside, watching out the glass windows of the big entry-way doors on the south of our elementary school. I waited and waited, but still my parents didn't come.

Suddenly, I saw my mom running across the schoolyard from the other side of the building. They had been waiting for me on the opposite side! I pushed open the heavy door and raced after my mom, fast as my little six-year-old legs would carry me. I ran fast, but she ran faster. "Mama, Mama!" I kept calling. But the wicked Idaho wind caught my words and blew them back behind me. She couldn't hear me and just kept on going. "Mama, Mama!" By now I was in tears as I ran past the buses, trying to catch up to my mom. In my six-year-old mind, it was terrible not to get her attention--would I ever catch up to her? The pouring rain mixed with my tears. At last, she reached my bus, and stopped to ask the driver if I were on. I could catch up to her and we could hurry back to the car and go see my grandparents. I was so relieved.


Ten years ago, we got a call in the middle of the night. It was my dad, telling us my mom had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. I was stunned and shocked. The next few days I felt like that little girl again, racing after my mom and crying, "Mama, Mama!" Some days, when things are difficult, I still feel like that little girl. "Mama, Mama!" I miss her.

All the way home to attend the funeral, I kept noticing the things that we passed on the way, the things that happened. Then I realized I was remembering them because that's what I always did on our way home, so I could share the events with my mom. When we got to the house, she wasn't there, opening the front door screen and welcoming us. She wasn't in the kitchen, stirring up a batch of something for supper. She wasn't anywhere she was supposed to be.


Things I miss about my mom:
gossiping in the kitchen

hearing her cheerful telephone-operator "Hello?" on the phone (She really did work for the phone company after graduating from high school)

seeing her in her bathrobe cooking breakfast

"laughture" "delightful!" "Neltson"

watching her wear a padded neck brace while sewing

her quilting and crocheting

phone calls keeping me informed of goings-on in my home-town or in my family

hearing her sing in church

her laugh

getting to share our successes and trials with her

My sister and I dressed her for burial. It was so obvious that the real "Shirlene" was not there on that bed. I'm thankful to know where she is, and that I'll see her again someday. Some days I wonder how close she is, if she sees the triumphs and sorrows of our daily lives, if she wishes she were still here. I wonder if she's with her mother and dad, what they are doing. I wish I could hug her today and tell her how much I love her. "Mama, Mama!" Someday I'll catch up to you.


Rachel said...

What a special post and tribute to your mother. It brought tears to my eyes...

LeaAnne said...

Kathy my friend, I am sure she is often near..Watching your triumphs and holding you hand during the struggles.

I think that you must be very much like her,except (shhh) that gossiping in the kitchen part :) You described her the way a Mother would want to be remembered ..LOVED..

It is funny all the small things that are missed.
I must remember this, in our small times we create the biggest of memories.
I love you.

Lisa said...

I haven't had to deal with losing my mother yet, but I know it will be hard when it happens. Our mothers are such integral parts of our lives. They really do help shape us as mothers. Your mother sounds very special, and I am sure she is waiting for you to "catch up" with her on the other side. What a glorious reunion that will be with all our loved ones! I wish more people understood and believed what death is all about. It is so sad to hear people talk about how death is the end, and to see how sad and depressed they are about it. I look forward to seeing my little sister again someday, and it reminds me to work toward that goal in my life.

P&J Productions said...

What a tender post. Thank you for sharing such a sweet experience with us.