somewhere out there is a place called heaven.
i have to believe that. because i want it to be so. i want it to be so because i didn’t have enough time.
i have spent too many long years missing people dear to me who left way too soon.
i want to see them again. we have a lot of catching up to do.
my daddy. my mother. my gram. my husband . . . the list felt endless for awhile.
once upon a time long long ago. in another era. when the world was at war . . .
a handsome tall texan was stationed in the army in upstate new york in a place called camp drum.
he was preparing to go overseas to germany to fight the nazis . . . by way of north africa and sicily.
one weekend on leave once . . . he went to a little ‘cantine’ there in the village that was a restaurant
owned by my gram.
her daughter was my mother. the daughter’s name was rena.
she was a tiny little thing. stood 5 foot two. never over 100 pounds soaking wet as they used to say.
here is a picture of her when she met my father.
he met the daughter named rena. and fell head over heels. he liked everything about her.
she was a sassy little wench with lots of spirit. and a heart as big as his home state of texas.
he found out that he was going to be shipped overseas. he didn’t want to lose her.
as usual in that particular war time . . . things happened fast.
he called her from a pay phone in another state. he said he had only 3 minutes.
he asked her to marry him!
she couldn’t believe it! later when telling me about it … she said she was SO EXCITED!!! she said “YES!!!
I WILL! and started to hang up the phone…
he laughed. he said he’d paid for 3 minutes and they would talk for 2 more minutes! LOLOL.
after the war . . .
i came along first. then 3 and a half years later . . . along came the marine.
on her 18th wedding anniversary we were on the train taking my daddy’s casket back to oklahoma.
his mother and two brothers lived here. then we would go back to northern minnesota so the marine
and i could complete 6 more weeks of school and i could graduate.
i had always been close to her. i adored her. she had style. and warmth. and she lighted all the corners.
she could sing well enough to be professional. i can hear that voice even now. i can old bean! still.
and she left this planet when i was 26 and the marine was 23. it’s a long time to remember. but i do.
she drew people to her like honey. she loved popcorn. and frosted flakes. and kraft caramels.
but when she lost daddy so young… he was 45 and she was 40…. she had lost her rock. part of herself.
i would know that feeling later. when i became a widow myself at 34. and she was gone by then.
having her with me would have made it easier to bear. because she was my best friend.
and i had just lost my other best friend. she would have known exactly how it felt.
but i’m not complaining. we were unbelievably lucky to have her at all!
so many people have bad memories . . . or none. . . or they have even less time than we had with her.
so . . . lucky we were . . . the marine and me.
she was “mom” to him and “mother” to me.
she didn’t live long enough to meet the marine’s wife. and of course she never knew she had a grandson.
she would be so proud that the marine gave her a beautiful grandson. and now two young great grandsons!
and she was the best mother in law! we laughed so much. she was simply fun.
yes. she did get to meet my bob and had time to get to know him. and she adored him.
and he adored her. how could he not? i never met anyone who didn’t love her. i mean that. it’s true.
four short years after daddy died she watched her only son join the marines and leave for viet nam.
he’d been drafted into the army. but he wanted the marine corps.
he survived that war. came home. and we found out right after that … that she had lung cancer.
it was in the last stage.
this picture was taken the year before she died. we didn’t know about the cancer then.
she loved all animals too. and always. always dogs.
here she is with my little dog usie.
she’s unwrapping a caramel. LOLOL. oh those caramels.
and she’s telling usie . . . “sorry. but you can’t have this darlin’ “
happy mother’s day rena caramelseed.
just like johnny strewing apple seeds . . .
you strewed love across this land and across the years of my heart.
wait for me somewhere up there!
we will have endless cups of coffee and talk and talk and talk! and laugh again!
and hug! oh the bear hugs you gave!
happy mother’s day my little beloved mother!
til soon old bean.
happy mother’s day to you too!