Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: CALL (01/14/16)
- TITLE: Messages from Mom
By Sharon Eastman
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Having only one car, my visits to her home were rare, thus, Mom and I talked on the phone every night. I was a stay at home mother with a toddler daughter, and Mom was a homemaker with a commercial milk business to operate. Dad and Mom were the business collaborators, but Mom with astute business sense and monetary skills, was the prime figure of the outfit.
Not only was she intelligent, she was beautiful as well. Her stylish raven hair, Elizabeth Taylor eyes, and milky smooth complexion captivated the business crowd. While at home, 50ish housedresses finally gave way to70ish polyester stretch pants with matching flower print blouses.
During my early childhood, Mom stayed at home with me. I always remember the many walks to the park, even swinging in the baby swings. She’d push me, and I’d laugh with joy. We often brought a lunch and savored it under the shadowing oak trees.
At times she’d haul me a mile in my little red wagon to main street’s hometown drugstore. Often she would relent and buy my favorite candy. Mom was my idol, and I wanted to be just like her.
Soon my awkward teen years dawned, and they wreaked havoc between us. As I struggled for my independence, she became the warden and I, the inmate. We fought about everything – white lipstick, make-up, miniskirts, and then the big issue, boys.
In my rebellion I became pregnant out-of-wedlock with my boyfriend’s child. Our hearts were shattered! What a predicament, the age old problem. Mom told me to listen and obey, and that’s what I did. My boyfriend and I married shotgun style as that was the proper solution in the 70s. My husband and I had an untimely start, but the union has lasted 45 years. Yes, Mom was right. Today I have a loving husband and two beautiful children.
Mom and I had a phone rendezvous every night. I would relay my daughter’s two-year-old antics and a litany of my day’s activities. She offered household, cooking, and parenting tips. At times she offered money to me. Most of all she gave me the love and support I needed. I was a teenage, struggling mommy myself.
One day we were visiting friends at a lake front home, and Mom wouldn’t eat during refreshment time. She said her insides burned whenever she ate. We advised her not to worry. It was probably a stomach ulcer.
But months passed, and Mom never felt better. In fact, she grew worse. Her porcelain complexion turned placid and gray. Her sparkling eyes turned ivory and dim. And she became gaunt and thin. She underwent many tests and procedures, but the primitive medical methods of that time could only deliver mixed, mysterious messages. By Christmas of 1974 she looked and felt ghastly. Finally a severe case of phlebitis threw her into the hospital. Mom, so responsible and independent with her life’s duties, was utterly dependent upon God, doctors and medicine.
One bright May morning in 1975 my dad received a message from the hospital calling the family to quickly attend to Mom’s bedside. There, the doctor, straight forwardly, told us that she wouldn’t survive the night. We were all stunned, and I sunk into shock and denial. I cried so many tears that my heart physically ached.
I stood constantly by her bedside in the ICU and watched the last hours of her demise in horror. When I finally left the room, the Lord took her home. Sorrow overwhelmed my soul as I pondered the unconditional love I lost.
It has been over forty years since Mom’s death, and my memories of her never fade. I see her brilliant smile in the rainbow and her voice in the bird’s song. I have faith and comfort that she is enjoying the glory of the Lord in heaven. I trust that he has prepared a beautiful mansion for her there.
To this very day sometimes when the phone rings, I think it’s Mom. But, it never is. Melancholy stirs my soul as tears moisten my eyes.
Note: It was determined in an autopsy that Mom died of bowel cancer.
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