Mama loved the movies. We rarely went to the show when I was growing up, but she sure enjoyed telling us about her favorite stories and movie stars. She was thrilled when AMC came on the air, and watched it as much as Daddy watched CNN. Later, when TCM came onboard, for Mama it was like a dream come true.
Recently, I did a presentation at my sister,Nancy's, senior citizen group about "Wizard of Oz" and "Gone with the Wind". I can still catch Mama's excitement as she told us, in great detail, about going to see each of them for the first time in theaters. I think I was looking for that excitement at the senior gathering; I didn't find it. Sometimes memories are shinier than reality.
"Wizard of Oz" and "Gone with the Wind" were my favorite Mama movies, and I still keep them DVR'd. But there's a newer one, and I'm not even sure if Mama ever saw it. "The Last of the Mohicans", with Daniel Day-Lewis.
After lots of prayer and conviction, and patience with hospital bureaucracy, we pulled the plug on Mama on Friday, July 21, 2000. Medical staff thought the wait would be a few hours, but Mama always got a kick out of proving "experts" wrong. By Sunday afternoon, Nancy and I agreed to take turns spending the night. Since she was the oldest, I took Sunday night so she could go home for a good meal, a shower and rest.
Sunday evening was some of the sweetest time I ever spent with Mama. I know she enjoyed it, too, because I was spending time with her, taking care of business by balancing her checkbook, and watching a movie, "The Last of the Mohicans". Thankfully, the nurses were indulgent and didn't think I was crazy as I quietly "chatted" with Mama as she slowly slipped further and further away.
Nancy arrived early the next morning, followed by a couple of the church ladies. During a good old fashioned visit, Mama peacefully drifted into heaven. I won't lie. After the nurses were called, then everyone left, I clung to her and squalled like a baby. Then I washed my face and went to do the things that had to be done, just like Mama taught me.
Last week I watched "The Last of the Mohicans"; I do nearly every time it's on. I'm not morbid about it. ('Course a bit of Daniel Day-Lewis eye candy always sweetens things.) It's more of a tribute, especially when I couple it with cleaning, like I was doing on Saturday.
We have different ways of taking out memories of those we love, don't we? I've learned the important thing is to take them out, and put them back, not become consumed with them.
Dear Readers, I don't pray that you have/had a Mama just like mine. I pray you have just the right Mama for you, and that you've always known "Jesus and Mama always loved (you)". What's your favorite memory of your Mama? What memory do you hope to leave with those you love?
Isaiah 49:14-16 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
14 But now Zion says, “The Lord has left me;
the Lord has forgotten me.”
15 But the Lord says,
“Can a woman forget her baby?
Can she forget the child who came from her body?
Even if she can forget her children,
I cannot forget you.
16 I drew a picture of you on my hand.
You are always before my eyes."