The first time I lost my mother, I didn't get to say good-bye. I was a week old. She was sixteen. Leaving the Salvation Army Home for Unwed Mothers in a taxi, she said she barely remembers handing me over to the doctor who'd arranged my adoption. That must have been one of the most painful rides of her life, but her courage and self-sacrifice resulted in double blessing for me.
I grew up in a happy stable home, knowing deep in my heart that one day I'd see her again. I didn't know how or when, but for sure it would happen. Sometimes I'd scan faces in crowds wondering if we'd instantly recognize each other as movie background music swelled with emotion. Can't you picture us running slow motion toward an embrace?
Thirty-seven years and nine months ago, we reconnected at last. Through tears of wonder and joy I said what I'd always planned to say. "Hello, again."
The dear woman in whose womb I began life on earth passed away the day before Thanksgiving this year. I was blessed to know her for more than half my life. Because my sister took her to Washington three months before she passed, the last time I saw her face was July of 2017. So, once again, I didn't get to say good-bye. But I will see her in glory. Of that I am certain. And we will repeat, "Hello again."
In the meantime, I'll remember her wisdom, support, wit, strength of character and stunning beauty. And I'll be grateful.
Memories of her number among my top ten life-blessings. Our first telephone conversation--the day of anticipation and anxiety while I dialed her number over and over, waiting for her to pick up. She told me she always thought of me on my birthday, calculating how old I'd be, and mentioned the date. I could hardly contain my joy realizing that I'd really found her. And our "first" meeting. After spending several hours across a restaurant table with the object of a lifelong fantasy, staring at her sparkling blue eyes and dazzling smile, I didn't want her to leave. To discover a compassionate, smart, accomplished woman, as well as someone with such grace and charm, far exceeded my dreams!
I discovered brothers and sisters--four boys and two other girls. Incredible people, all with the identical round blue eyes I see in my own refelection. Plus nephews and nieces. Oh my! Such an amazingly diverse family. What a precious treasure they are!
The first time I took her to meet the mother who raised me, the sight of them hugging, crying, and murmuring thanks to each other in the driveway still makes me tear up.
She supported me during the rough patches in the last half of my life--my husband's cancer diagnoses and his final days on earth. His funeral and the aftermath readjustment. The funerals of my parents. Without her wise counsel and encouragement, I don't know how I could've gone through all of that. Plus, she became a vital part of all our family celebrations: graduations, weddings, milestone birthdays, publication of books, an occasional New Year's Eve, Christmas, or Thanksgiving.
My latest cherished memory is when I woke to find her sneaking into my bedroom during my last visit at her house. Snuggling into bed with me, she cried over all she'd missed in my early life--braiding my hair, talking about boyfriends, the prom, hunting for a wedding dress. We snuggled together, my head resting on her tiny shoulder. The immense joy of remembering those moments defies description.
She always greeted me with, "Hello, Baby Girl." Her way of making everyone she spoke to feel special--as if the conversation they were engaged in was the only thing on the planet that really mattered--was exraordinary. I never felt pretty until I met her. In her eyes, I now find a bit of beauty in me--especially when someone says I look like her.
After twenty-four years of heart problems and surgeries, topped off by six grueling years of dialysis, her little body had enough. I am thankful that her suffering has ended. No more sorting mountains of pills into little pillboxes to be taken four times a day, no more endless rounds of doctor visits and tests, no more sterile hooking up to a machine every day, no more prolonged hospital stays, no more leg cramps or uncontrollable twitching. No more loss of sleep.
But for me, she's gone too soon. I wanted her to stay longer. I wasn't done getting to know her. Thank you, God for the "brief" time you allowed her back into my life. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I will always miss you, Deloris Nadine Rogers.
And I will always love you. Mom.
Proverbs 31:25,26,28, "Strength and honor are her clothing...she opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness....Her children rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also, and he praises her."
In my latest book, THE ROAD TO TERMINUS, Mabel Crowley takes on the role of mother for a sick street urchin who goes by the name of Stryker. Stryker is motherless like me, but blessed to have a godly woman care for her.
Along their journey they pick up another stray and the three misfits travel Route 66 in 1955. This gripping tale will keep you turning pages to find out what's next.