Memories of Mother

Kay - Arma, Kansas
Entered on October 8, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

The lasting memories of my mother shaped the person I have become. For example, as a young child, my mother was a constant reminder that I was not alone. In the ebony of night, on many occasions, I slid my wee hands against the side of my mother’s bed, and she, sensing my presence, would fold back the crisp, starched sheet to allow enough space for my thin, four year old body to lie adjacent to her buxom physique. While her warm body swaddled mine, her blended scent of lavender body talc and Ivory soap comforted me. Furthermore, the reflection of her support and encouragement has remained in my heart. For instance, we created a six foot tall, 7UP bottle for my Halloween costume from chicken wire and pale-green crepe paper. It was an audacious situation which resulted in roars of laughter from the pair of us when we realized her four foot stature could not raise the cramped bottle over my head. As a result, she had to push the bottle over in order for me to squirm my ten year old, gangly body from its bottom opening. Granted, not all memories of my mother were of happy times. As I experienced life on my own as a single adult, the choices I made often riled my mother. I remember her steely, brown eyes glaring at me as her determination to correct my selfish actions fell silent on my seemingly deaf ear. Eventually, I realized that life is a pendulum, and as it begins to retract, the memories play out once again. As roles reversed, it was I standing before my wavering son with my mother’s adamant words flowing from my mouth. I could feel warm tears of sorrow trailing down my flushed cheeks and a knot of remorse tightened my quivering heart, and at that moment, I felt my mother’s strength, and I realized the anguish I must have caused her. In conclusion, the memory I hold most dear is our last moment; the moment when the person I had become came full circle. As I wiped her chapped, trembling lips with a chilled, moist cloth, her brown, fawn eyes looked upon me with the look of a child in need of a mother’s reassurance. With deep, selfish hesitation, I bravely smiled and said, “It’s alright to go.” Reliving the moments when she would hold tight to my tiny hand, I tenderly caressed her age-freckled hand laying gently in mine. As her willowy lips tried to utter her final wants for me, memories of our life together consumed my thoughts. Her staggered, vapid breaths grew further and further until her accepting eyes grew peacefully still. While once lost in the confusion of God’s plan, I now realize my children were blessed with the last sixteen years in which my mother had lived in our home, and I truly hope the memories they share with their children will be of life with Grandma Betty.