Mom was born on December 18th and we miss her. This is from seven years ago today, December 18, 2009.
On Wednesday, I received an e-mail from Annette Baldwin, who, with her husband, Jack, was a long time friend of my parents. She thought Mom's birthday might have been today on the 18th and she was right! Today, my mother, Sarah Nelda Chesshir Hawley, would have turned eighty-four years old. This is our first December 18th without her although she hadn't recognized the day for years. We miss her but we also know she is in a far better place. The Alzheimer's never robbed her of her sweetness but we still mourned for her before her passing last March. Mom loved Christmas. She wanted to play Christmas music all the time and would have kept the tree up year round if Dad had consented. This morning, Sani Jusa, one of my students, presented me with a gift before school. I caught myself carefully opening the present and trying not to destroy the wrapping paper because Mom would always try to reuse it. I'm fairly certain that some parts of us have to be inherited.
That's Cana with me in the picture above. I met Cana this summer when I was her coach at our basketball camp. She came to WCS this fall for the first time along with her older brother, younger sister, and her mother, Rachel, one of our new teachers. Cana and I bonded over basketball and she hugs me everyday in the cafeteria. She saw that Christmas tie I'm wearing (which also plays Jingle Bells) and it reminded her of me so she persuaded mom that she just had to buy it for her favorite coach. Interestingly, Sani's gift for me mentioned above was...a revolving tie rack! So now I have a new favorite musical tie ...and something to hang it on!
Last night at our faculty Christmas party, I noticed for the first time a striking resemblance between the mother of one of our seniors and her daughter. At just the right angle, it hit me how much they look alike. I don't know if anyone ever thought I resembled my mom; I certainly didn't but it's hard to see it in yourself. I would take it as a great compliment if they did. My mother was one-of-a-kind. She saw potential in me that I couldn't comprehend and I fought her on her perceptions. That brings us back to the lovely Miss Cana. You know, the name Cana is taken from the Bible. It's the village in Galilee where, in John chapter 2, Jesus performs his first miracle. A wedding has run out of wine, a terrible social disgrace, and Mary pressures her messiah/son to do something to save the day. He tells her His time was still in the future but in typical mom fashion, Mary ignores Him and the Savior grants her wish. Talk about honoring your parents! I'm sure my mom subtly, or not so subtly, encouraged me to do what I would have preferred to put off. Our mother's molding shapes each of us. Maybe, whatever made Cana connect me and that green Santa Claus tie came from some influence of the woman who was born on this day in 1925 in Nashville, Arkansas. It just all ties together.
Applicable quote of the day:
"There never was a woman like her. She was gentle as a dove and brave as a lioness... The memory of my mother and her teachings were, after all, the only capital I had to start life with, and on that capital I have made my way."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org