Tuesday, April 20, 2010
When he was five years old she took him to the photography studio to have his picture made in his cowboy outfit because he wanted pictures to hand out like the older kids. He smiled from ear to ear, his hair slicked back, cute as a button.
When he started school she watched him get on the big, yellow school bus, following his older brothers and sister and turned around to wave at her. When he threatened to run away from home, his belongings packed in a plain, brown paper bag, she watched him walk down the street, his shoulders low, until he turned around and came home. With tears in her eyes she scolded him and told him to "never do that again."
He grew up tall and skinny and she watched him through the awkward teen years, full of youthful mischief. He was charming with the girls and voted "Most Polite" and "Biggest Flirt" by his classmates.
And she watched him get on the bus once more, after his high school graduation. He came home a man, this time wearing a uniform that Uncle Sam had given him, a soldier ready to go to war. She watched with a mother's pride and a mother's anxiety as he was shipped off to an Asian country, dropped in a jungle with other rookie soldiers far from home. Two months later she received the news that he'd been shot, but he going to be alright. It mangled his hand, but he was alive.
She saw her boy get married and have children of his own. He was a grown-up now, but he never forgot her birthday and never forgot Mother's Day. He was still a Mama's boy at heart and called on the weekends to see how she was getting along. He still had that boyish charm and love of life and playful sense of humor.
The years passed and life was full of ups and downs, but she always had her children to care about. Then one day it all changed. Her youngest boy was sick and it was serious. The doctors offered treatment, and she clung to hope. And so she was by his side when God called him home, the son she had brought into the world. Mama's boy.
(In memory of my husband, Don)