Sunday, February 24, 2008

In Memory

My mother was born on February 24, 1908 – one hundred years ago today. She died June 30, 1986 at the age of 78, and a life well lived.

Her being in the kitchen was where I remember her most as a child, but I’m sure that was not the place she favored. Her cello stood behind the door like a lonely wooden statue, a reminder of her love of music. I know she didn’t pine to play it because her greater love, the piano, was just a few steps away in the living room. She would have preferred to be sitting at the piano anytime to working in the kitchen, but like most women everywhere, she did what was required. She did it with love and as much enthusiasm as she could muster.

The kitchen window above the sink framed our large backyard. She could see the fruit trees, the bird bath, and us, when we were playing there. She could see her laundry hanging on the clothesline strung precariously from the garage to the corner of the house. I know, however, that the view was slightly magical because of her joy in seeing the creatures that lived and visited there. When snow covered the yard, she would clear it from the bird bath and generously spread bread crumbs for the birds. In summer she would call them by imitating their song or whistle and then stand silently waiting for their answer. And answer they did. She watched the squirrels foraging for nuts they had buried; probably the very nuts that she had given them, for she often enticed them to take some from her outstretched hand. I loved to watch her smile with pleasure at their quivering courage to come close to her.

And you ask, what does this have to do with Jordan? It was there, in our kitchen, that she and I had many conversations about my marrying and coming to Jordan. She saw the potential in my young Jordanian suitor and the promise of the fine man he would become. She encouraged me to follow him. Her positive attitude and support were consistent with who she was. Later, I discovered that few mothers the world over would encourage their children to make such a cross-cultural marriage, but my mother was different. The things in life that were important to her were simple and beautiful. I am proud to be her daughter.

ASH

4 Comments:

Anonymous Qwaider قويدر said...

May she rest in peace

Sunday, February 24, 2008  
Blogger joladies said...

What a lovely description of your mother. We always hope our children see us in such a loving and positive way. T

Monday, February 25, 2008  
Blogger joladies said...

Dear Qwaider and T,
Thanks for your kind comments. I just felt that the day was too significant to let it pass without remembering --
ASH

Monday, February 25, 2008  
Blogger joladies said...

Just returned from Aqaba ... and I don't want this moment to pass without remembering her too ... we owe much to her wisdom and an unbound love that set you free to chose ... so that we could get to know you too. Much love J

Tuesday, February 26, 2008  

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