Let’s see if I’m right?
A few years ago I gave Mom a little box that held index cards I had personalized with her name. Apparently she continued to use the box to keep quotes she liked, story ideas, notes about books she loved or that friends had recommended. Dad asked me if I wanted to bring it home with me. What a little treasure box it turned out to be. I gave it to her filled with blank note cards, and she gave it back to me filled with thoughtful little treasures from her heart. Sometimes, when I want some words of wisdom from my Mom, I’ll open the box and pull out a random card to see “what my Mom wants to say” to me today.
Today, I plucked out this one and found it particularly poignant. I thought I’d share it with all of you on her website. I’m sure she saved it in reference to the book she had written called “Dread Autumn.” (or was it called Firethorn?).
Sorrow and the scarlet leaf,
Sad thoughts and sunny weather;
Ah me! this glory and this grief
Agree not well together.
(T. W. Parsons – A Song for September)
The full text of the poem can be found here. But Mom wrote down just that one short verse.
There is another quote that I found repeated on many cards in this box, and also tucked into several books. This one I find particularly powerful, because she had written it so many times and it was obviously (and very literally) ‘words she lived by.”
I am afflicted, but not crushed;
Perplexed but not despairing;
Struck down but not destroyed.
(2 Corinthians 4)
Click to see photo full-size
This is a group of my mom’s friends who got together every month for lunch and writing critique-ing. These dear friends are Cheryl Stark, Phyllis Malcolm and Trish Astbury. Speaking to them over the years (at her home, sometimes during hospital visits and eventually at my Mom’s funeral), it was very clear how much they loved my Mom.
I think they said that they met in a writing class at Cal State Fullerton and began as a study group. They just kept on meeting long after the class was over.
This collection of photos was from a trip they took to Coronado together. This framed collage is from a wall in my mom’s kitchen. I think it was a gift from her friends.