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I remember the first time I met her

I remember the first time I met her

I remember the first time I met her.  I had a fever. The house was silent. She put wool blankets over the windows to keep out the light. My eyes hurt.

I remember feeling loved and safe and protected. She gently put my hair behind my ear and caressed my face as she sang to me. I remember her gentle touch on my skin.

Her hair was black. Not from a bottle. She let me brush it. I can remember the deep rich texture of her hair. If I close my eyes I am six again and I am living in the same house she lives in. She is sitting in a chair with her back to me. I am standing behind her brushing her long, dark, hair. Again and again.

I saw this woman every morning when I lived in the same  house as she did. She made me oatmeal for breakfast. I shaped the oatmeal into a mountain in my bowl. The brown sugar ran down the sides of the outmeal like a volcano erupting.

She ground her own grain and made bread for sandwiches for my school  lunches. She let me eat the heel of the loaf when it came out of the oven.

Every Sunday night I could hear this woman making popcorn in the Revere Ware pot as I had my bath in the green tub. I sat beside her on the chesterfield, ate buttered popcorn and watched Ed Sullivan.

This morning I won’t see this woman. She will sit at her kitchen table with two chairs. One chair is empty. Her husband died last month. I will sit at my kitchen table with five chairs. Each chair will be sat in. My husband and three children will sit with me as I eat my hard boiled egg.

The last time I saw this woman was three years ago. She lives in another country, a five-day drive from me. Her hair is not black now. Her hair is grey.

I don’t see this woman every day. But, every day I think of her and pray for her. Every day before I go to bed I send her an e-mail to tell her I love her.

Last night I sent her a message so she could read it when she woke up this morning.

Happy Birthday Mom.
I love you.

I don’t know what it is about food your mother makes for you, especially when it’s something that anyone can make – pancakes, meat loaf, tuna salad – but it carries a certain taste of memory.
― Mitch Albom

What is your first memory of your mother?

Please tell me in the comments. I would love to meet your mother.

 

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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  • My earliest memory of my mother is when we lived in an apartment near Houston, Tx. She had her arms full of groceries in paper bags. She carried them up the stairs to our apartment while my brother and I pretended to climb a mountain. I was probably 3 at the time. I also remember her stretching a jump riope on the floor between 2 chairs for my brother and I to jump across.

  • margaret simon

    Beautiful writing about your mom. What mother would not love to read this? My first memory of my mother is the smell of coffee. I did not start drinking coffee until my third child was born. (One of those crazy pregnancy cravings) But the smell has always meant home to me. That and her amazing pancakes, so the Mitch Albom quote hit home for me.

    • Thank you Margaret for sharing your mother. Isn’t it interesting how smell can trigger memories.
      Now I want to go and drink coffee and make popcorn.

  • Stacey Shubitz

    Your writing took my breath away, Pamela. This is beautiful.

    My first memory of my mom? Hmmmm. I don’t quite remember. But I do recall waiting up for her and my Dad (Much to my babysitters’ dismay.) whenever they’d go out on a Saturday night. She always had this good smell about her when she’d come home. It was like a “going out on the town” smell. She didn’t drink or smoke so it had nothing to do with that. It was like the scent of her perfume mixed with the night air. I can’t quite describe it, but I can still smell that lovely scent when I close my eyes and think about her during my childhood.

    • Stacey, I can imagine the smell from how you described it. “The scent of her perfume mixed with the night air.”
      Thank for sharing your mother.

  • I remember mom’s apron. She always wore an apron. Her hair was jet black and when she would dress up she would wear red lipstick. One of my favorite memories was when I was somewhere with her and hadn’t remembered my gloves and she held my hand in her pocket to keep it warm. I can’t hold a little hand without thinking of her holding mine. That’s staying power.

    • Thank you for sharing your mother with me Anne. The little cold hand in her pocket is the sweetest memory. One you have kept forever.