Not my mother, not my father, but it’s me O Lord, standin’ in the need of prayer. *

I’ve always had my mother’s hair–wavy or curly, depending on the humidity, and lots of it. Mom greyed early and never colored her grey.  In the 1960’s people asked who “frosted” her hair; women actually paid money for the grey highlights that Mom grew naturally.

I was afraid to iron my hair so I tried Curl Free for my high school graduation.    It was June, 1970, in Raleigh, NC, and Dorton Arena at the NC State Fairgrounds was not air-conditioned.  I just wanted long, straight hair down the back of my blue graduation gown.   The pictures from that night show beautiful waves that got bigger and bigger in the humidity.  I hated it.

For a lot of years I judged my mother harshly.  I didn’t like the way my dad treated her and I couldn’t understand why she didn’t resist.  When my dad retired early and then went into a nursing home at 63 (the result of drinking, diabetes, and a stroke), she lived alone for the first time.  We moved them from Ohio to Greensboro and helped her buy a one-level 2-bedroom town house close to our neighborhood.  She spent her time reading and watching CNN.  I felt sorry for her.  Her life was disappearing and she hadn’t accomplished anything.

“I think I’m turning into my mother!'”

The same wavy grey hair circles my head.  My chair sits beside the aquarium with the huge catfish in the living room. I read the paper or The Hunger Games and drink my tea. Sometimes I watch MSNBC or Dr. Oz. My cell phone and the home phone are on the table beside me.  I’m ready if one of my daughters or a friend calls.  My body requires rest.

I wish I could tell my mother I understand now.  It’s okay to rest and reflect. She died in 1998.  Maybe she wasn’t depressed.  Maybe her accomplishment was getting to a resting place.

Peace, Mom.

* “Not my mother, not my father, but it’s me O Lord, standin’ in the need of prayer.”  (Click here and then on the title to listen to the hymn by John P. Kee)

Published in: on June 1, 2012 at 8:53 pm  Comments (10)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love that song. I often think that many of us don’t get enough rest and quiet times. I can’t sit still for least not yet. Nice piece..Robin.

    • I started offering retreats because I kept hearing people say, “I wish I could just stop once in a while and be where it’s quiet.” Never crossed my mind that being able to sit and contemplate might be a gift rather than a handicap!

  2. Sometimes a simple walk through life is enough. Being alive is hard work. Stops along the way to watch the fish in your acquarium or sip tea are allowed.

    And we all become our mothers, Robin.

    • “Sometimes a simple walk through life is enough.”
      Will I ever just be enough, just as I am?

  3. You have told her and she’s heard…if it’s any consolation, I envy you your thick, wavy, grey hair! Gentle peace…

    • Your comments always nail me–in a good way! Thank you for caring.

  4. I hear mostly from men that they are defined by what they do, and worry about their legacy. 6th grade science informed me of the limited life of the sun.

    Your mother effected a great many people around her. She set an example of humanity and love. So do you.

    • Thank you, FJ.
      She certainly cared about you.

  5. My mother used to sing this song around the house when I was just a little child! Thanks for a nostalgic experience. 🙂

    • Thanks for checking out my blog!
      And glad I could trigger a good memory.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: