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Stories of Mom – #1 of many…

Thursday morning was the last time I saw Mom, and it was so beautiful.  We met at the Linden Tree Children’s Bookstore where she used to work and is beloved by everyone (as usual), to shop for baby books for two pregnant friends of mine.  As soon as I walked in the door, the ladies at the counter greeted me and said, “Oh hi Brooke Ray! Your mom’s here!”  I started wandering through the loaded bookshelves I remember exploring as a kid, heard a “Hey honey!” from the far corner, and found her engrossed in cardboard baby books.  Seeing her was striking for some reason, a real sensory memory because she looked so…healthy.  Like she’d just come from her morning swim as she used to do throughout my childhood: tanned and summery, wearing a mauve-pink tank top that brought out color in her cheeks, her deep smile-crinkles and shining eyes so happy to see me. We looked through a bunch of books and laughed at their stories – the egg that doesn’t like being an egg but then turns into a chicken, spots that jump all over the page, etc.  She was so happy to see me happy in life, we talked about me and it brought tears to her eyes that my life is going so well these days.  There we were, just crying and laughing and holding baby books in the middle of the bookstore, customers walking by around us.  Then we went into the back and Dianne, the co-owner of the bookstore, showed us the beautiful plans for the store’s remodel, and Mom teared up again in happiness, especially at Dianne’s cautious query about whether Mom might be interested in reading to the children in the new reading corner they’ll have.  Mom was honored.  We parted on the street corner, me on my bike back to the office, standing in dappled sunlight saying how proud we were of each other – her that I’m doing such good things for the town through my job, and me that she’s come so far in a few years (I had sent her a photo the day before from the Relay for Life in 2009, her in a wheelchair and chemo bandana but in the middle of saying something to a woman who was just cracking up).  We smiled, hugged, told each other I love you as we always do, and went on our ways.  If there’s a perfect, this was it. Love you forever, Mom.

Carol delighting everyone around her, as usual!

One Response to Stories of Mom – #1 of many…

  1. Daryl June 16, 2011 at 12:58 am #

    I can picture all this happening and feel the love and pride Carol exuded when talking about or spending time with Brooke Ray. What a beautiful memory.

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