Mack Williams

 I couldn’t think of anything new about Mother’s Day, as I’d previously written much about my late mother Lorraine Williams; but then, on Mother’s Day, and paraphrasing Indiana Jones’ father, Professor Henry Jones: “A solution presented itself!” So basically, Mother’s Day happened, and I wrote about it.

Before my son Jeremy picked me up to spend the weekend with him, his wife Rose, and my mother-in-law Doris, I drove my car within my “oil-leaking-radius-of-travel” to LIDL, where there were bunches of flowers for sale for Mother’s Day. I got a dozen roses for $7 and a bunch of chrysanthemums and miniature red carnations for $4. They looked fine and fresh (only “inexpensive,” not dead, nor near it).

At their home, I pulled out an old flower vase, cut the stems (diagonally, as my son Jeremy reminded me), mixed in the packets of flower-preservative “miracle powder,” and arranged the flowers.

I set the vase on the table next to 92-year-old Doris, then adjusted her table light so she could see the flowers clearly, as she has macular degeneration.This bendable reading light reminds me of an automobile “snake light” adapted to home use. Doris’ sister Joan also sent her a pair of TV-watching glasses which look like binoculars minus the casing, and sort of “steam punky.”

Doris heartily thanked me, and as I stepped into the kitchen, Doris’ “little sister” (in her 80s) Joan called. Doris told Joan about the flowers and started crying. When I stepped back into the room, she ceased crying.

While in the kitchen, I had noticed a small jar of light-gray powder on the kitchen bar. Having seen a sample of Mt. Saint Helen’s ash at the science museum, I thought it to be something like that. I also thought it might be some sort of spice; but immediate recognition came with sight of the word “Mom” on one side of the bottle. This was some of the ashes of my daughter-in-law’s mother, sent by Rose’s sister from Florida. Rose also wears a “micro” glass container of her mother’ ashes on a necklace, reminding me of similar “relic” containers of “Holy Land Sand” and “River Jordan Water” worn by some of the faithful.

That jar on the bar makes Rose feel her mother is near. One time, someone accidentally “filed” those ashes in the spice rack; but fortunately, Rose’s mom wasn’t “scattered” on a pizza. My late friend Esther Rufty-Hodgin would have appreciated my humor, as she wanted to leave her family and friends with a final smile at the sight of her ash-filled urn with its Goodwill price label still attached.

Esther would have equally “smiled from beyond” if some of her ashes were left behind in a perfume bottle labeled “Ester of Esther” (Esther and I had similarly “unique” outlooks upon the world).
My late wife Diane’s life-long friend Debby also visited us on Mother’s Day. Debby’s adoptive mother passed away before Debby succeeded in locating her birth mother some years back, whom she got to reconnect with and visit a number of times before her passing. So Debby has two mother’s to remember on Mother’s Day, one, “nature,” the other, “nurture.”

Then, my daughter Rachel arrived from Winston, making our little group “whole” (kind of like that scene at the end of “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946).
Later, back home, I called Doris; and she thanked me again for the flowers, saying I didn’t know it, but that she had cried about the receipt of them when I was out of the room. I didn’t let on that I had heard her then, and already knew (harmless, little “games of life”).

So, it was best to let my Mother’s Day column work itself out on its own, on Mother’s Day, even if that put it a week late in print.
Proving: life crafts its art better than do its writers.


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