(Here’s a re-posting of a piece I wrote some time ago. It’s the time of the year…but with all the uncertainty, I missed the actual date of March 19th. My mom has now been gone for 11 years, but the sentiment remains. Nevertheless, here it is…)
It has been almost 8 years since my mother died. Thoughts, sights, and sounds remind me of her almost daily.
Words she often turned into her own askew versions. Her penchant for reading EVERY street sign whenever she was in the car. Twinkies she hid in the freezer in violation of her diet. The one constant reminder is my white hair, undeniable genetic evidence that part of her remains with me.
These are memories of a special woman.
Each year, on a particular date, there is a poignant reminder of something she did for me.
I suspect she had similar traditions with my brother and sisters; she was that kind of a mom.
She had a way to make you feel special.
Nevertheless, this one was between us.
As many of you know from my writings, I do not share the faith that my mother did. She had absolute confidence in her beliefs. Despite all the things she experienced, the joys and the sorrows, she never once doubted them.
She made a valiant effort to share her faith. If there is any blame to go around for her failed attempt to instill that in me, the fault is mine.
What is the annual event that triggers such a memory?
St. Joseph’s day.
Every year, I would get a card from my mother. It came in the mail. It was not a text, an email, or a phone call. It would arrive in the days just before the 19th, more evidence of her careful consideration and purpose.
She took the time to select, address, and mail a card. Through a simple gesture, she preserved the dying art of thoughtfulness.
The card celebrated the Saint’s day of my (sort of) namesake. Her thoughtful gesture had a dual purpose, serving as a subtle reminder of her faith. I used to chuckle whenever I opened the card. Amused by my mother’s determination, yet touched by such a simple, caring act.
She never gave up.
Since her passing, I miss the card every year and her every day.
Mom, while you may not have succeeded in making me a Saint there is a good chance you made me less of a sinner.
Happy Saint Joseph’s Day.