When I was 7, my parents divorced. Momma took $500, her car, as much as she could cram in it, my brother, my sister and me and headed out west. We landed in Denver. Momma worked three jobs to make sure we had everything we needed and kept us off the welfare roll.
I know this was a very hard time for Momma now that I am older. But then, Momma had a way of making everything all right. She had a knack for picking up a piece of broken furniture off someone’s curb and making it a masterpiece, attacking clearance and sales racks like a wild woman, harvesting gold from a yard sale and making a gourmet meal from leftovers and scraps. Momma always makes lemonade from any and all lemons life throws her way.
Almost a year went by and things were looking up. We had made friends and settled in to our new life. Momma even found enough money to buy us our very first pair of Nike tennis shoes. Wow! I was so proud of those stupid shoes. Then, the most tragic thing to my 8 year old mind happened.
Momma took us skating.
Now, I know that sounds like a wonderful thing. We thought so too until she fell and broke her right arm while skating. I remember Momma trying to drive to the hospital. It was a standard and she couldn’t shift the gears. My sister and I tried to do it but we were so young. I remember watching the tears stream down her face, from pain and/or broken heart, as she kept saying over and over that everything would be okay.
Everything was not okay.
Momma’s purse was stolen a few days later. It had all her money in it. That added to the broken arm… and Momma had to do something she would never do in a million years if there were any other choice. She sent my sister and me back to live with my dad.
We got on an airplane and flew for the first time. It was back when kids got to go up and see the pilot and they gave us little metal pilot wings. But little metal wings were not my Momma and I was a broken little girl.
My future step-mother was already living in the house with her two daughters…taking our spot so easily. I cried every night for a year, imagining Momma’s smile, Momma’s laugh, Momma’s smell . I had a plan though. If I was bad enough, they would send me back to my Momma.
I remember coming unglued when my step-mother tried to throw away Momma’s spoons with the little roses engraved in the handle. I buried them in the garden so she couldn’t find them. She was trying to take the little things that were my only reminder of Momma. This was long before the internet and phone calls were too expensive. I had to find anything and everything I could to hold on to Momma. To this day, I think those spoons are why roses are my favorite flowers.
It scared me when I could no longer see Momma’s smile in my head. It took my heart and wrenched it into knuckled knots when I could no longer hear Momma’s song in my ears. It shattered me when the smell of Momma was washed away from my nostrils. I cried harder and acted worse.
After a year, my sister and I were told we would get to visit our Momma. I decided I was never coming back weeks before we went to Texas. I did but it was never to live there again. Once I got to Texas…to the smell of my fragile…the sight of my lovely…the only real home my little girl brain could grasp…I begged with everything I had to not be sent away. Momma held my sister and me tight and we went forward together.
I have asked forgiveness since then of my step-mother. She has been gracious enough to forgive me my disobedience. She never deserved my wrath.
About ten years ago, Momma moved to Maine. Before she left, that old sense of terrible loss overtook me. I was a grown woman and I selfishly begged her not to go. She went and I was okay but the taste was still nasty. She now lives about a half mile north of me. 😀
My Momma is the woman I admire and respect more than any other in this world. How would I have ever made it another minute without her? No other human loves me like Momma. No other human knows me like Momma. She is my inspiration and my anchor in all things. I do not deserve her love, but God thank you for her.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
Peace, love and God’s will