The rolling blue wave hits the shore, tumbling memories along the rocky waterís edge.  I pick them up, one by one and clean them off.  Dripping - salty. . . I collect them all.  Some are older.  They are memories passed on to us.  I rinse them all until they become clearer.  I hold the oldest . . . itís fiery, yet sad.  I see the agony, Mom - your Dad lay there, badly burned, your Mother lost forever that fateful day.  Just newly married, you took your younger siblings into your arms; raised them, nurtured them. 

 I fumble around and find other older memories.  Sifting through them, one pops out.  Its beautiful - a first child, Paulette Marie.  This is one of your golden moments of your then young life.  As I turn the memory, I get a better view . . . I see the pain.  Weeks after birth, pneumonia snatches that joy, tainting your desire to bring another into the world.  We bury that one deep into the sand.  As I do, this one old memory slides down my palm, tickling.  I curiously hold it up against the deep blue sky.   Its not quite as old as the last . . . its from 10 years later in your life.  Again, I see joy - constant joy.  Itís the birth of a boy, your boy, Onlysion John III.  I look down and see 5 more, nearly carbon copies of the first.  I see you - proud - its the births of your other 5 children.    As I roll the memories around, I see that you are alone; alone with your children - you have nothing - must raise them . . . ALONE.   Shaking my head, I sigh, tears roll down - But, I take notice of you.  You are not sad.  Just determined.  Your strength makes me quiver!

 I scuttle through other memories.  Thereís a glowing red and green memory catching my eye.  Closer glance - its warm, happy - its memories of many Christmases.  I see you, Mom, again with nothing - same nightgown, slippers . . . older . . . smiling.  Each Christmas memory is filled with gifts, gifts for us - more than a kid could dream of.  And you . . .were happy!

 A new wave hits and more memories splash at my feet.  They are clearer, newer.  I pick some up.  Looking into them, I notice there are smaller sparkling gems inside of each - SHINING - they are your Grandchildren.  Each one of them you somehow made your favorite, each one you made special . . . in some way.  I see you with each one.  Sparkling!  You nurtured them all as your own.  Mom, you sparkle; though you had nothing of your own.  You give them everything.  Oh!  And you are a God to them!  Your impact on them is undeniable!  As usual, you give - sacrifice, for us, your kids. . . for your
grandkids . . . for others.  It makes me blue.  I see you have nothing of your own, yet you give and give in each and every memory. 

 Leaning over, I pick up 6 very large memories, similar to each other.  They are shiny, strong - your kids, grown.  You look proud.  You polished the 6.  Nurtured.  ALONE!  The 6 are proud.  Proud of you, Mom.   You did it - ALONE! 

 Another memory is found.  It looks like an Angel.  I look - wonder - wonder if God gives Angel points for all the times you suffered, sacrificed, so others could have more - so we could have more.  If he did, you would have earned your wings many, many years ago.  I thank God for letting you stay with us for all these years, even though you earned your place in His arms, long ago. 

 Another wave laps at my feet leaving one single memory.  I pick it up - gorgeous - ice blue like the sky on a cloudless day.  I stare into the lovely blue and see a smile; yours.  I know Iím looking at a glimpse of the past and what is yet to be.  I smile back, continuing to look deep into the blue, deep into your blue eyes.  I realize that I wonít see them for a long, long time.  I look into them long and hard . . . remembering . . . remembering the beauty, the power - your life! 

 I feel peace as I stare one last time into your eyes before the memory fades.  I know that Iíll see them again, those eyes - someday - smiling - icy blue eyes, Angel eyes.

 I trudge to the shore as it starts to rain.  Droplets stream down from above, gently tapping me like reminders . . . reminders of the past.  I look up and the droplets puddle in the corners of my eyes.  I smile, for behind every shower, I know the sun will shine, clearing the skies for better days.  Every time I look up into that vivid icy blue sky, Iíll be looking up to you, Mom.  And I know, Mom, that the next time that I truly look into your lovely blue eyes, Iíll be with you once again . . . Iíll be with you, in your arms - the arms of an Angel!

 

Thank you, Mom, I love you.  God Bless you, always!