This much is clear to me about being a mother. Age makes us better. Death makes us extraordinary.
My mother, gone now twelve years, has reached near sainthood. When the local paper solicited photos of mothers ‘no longer with us’ along with a short descriptive phrase for a Mother’s Day montage, I sent the editor my favorite picture of my mother, the one taken at Niagara Falls in 1938 on the honeymoon trip memorialized for decades by the little notebook of expenses my father kept tucked in the scrapbook. Gas – 37 cents.
I thought for a minute and wrote the words: beautiful, gentle, an enigma.
When she was alive, my mother was a constant puzzle and source of worry. I wondered every day what was the matter and would often ask her. She never admitted anything being the matter until I was a teenager and it became my…
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