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Mom

8 May

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

I was born and raised in Florida. As a kid, I hated wearing shoes and still do. My friends and I walked everywhere enjoying the outdoors and exploring nature. In the evening when dinner and chores were done, I stretched out on the couch with my feet in Mother’s lap, and she pulled sandspur splinters out with tweezers. She was so gentle that I fell asleep during the operation.

 

 

 

 

Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s our family had little money. Our mother was widowed twice before she was twenty-five years old, and she ended up with four kids to look after on her own. She knew about pain and she knew about life. We children were her life, and she allowed us to be as carefree as possible. Sometimes, though, if she thought we needed chastising, she would call out a name, which many times was the wrong name. We thought it was funny, and our laughter got her back into a good mood. When Mom wanted to let me know I was in trouble, she’d call me, “Melody Jane.” In these cases, Jane was a bad-girl name. My friends heard it a few times and thought Jane was my middle name. Most of the time, though, Mom called me Honey-Dear.

Mom started working in at a bicycle shop in Winter Park. She and the owner fell in love and got married. He was the only father I knew. He had two boys, so now we had six kids in the family. But mostly they lived with their grandparents. When school was out, Mom’s kids sat in the business office until time to go home. It was a boring few hours, so mom did her best to keep us entertained. She’d put several layers of red polish on her nails and let us peel them off. She gave us long ball chains to dribble into circles which we pretended were pies. Sometimes we linked several together and made an extra-large pie.

 

 

 

Whenever I was sick I told no one, but somehow Mom always knew. She knew what to do, too. I marveled at that even as a kid. She would kiss the patient’s forehead to take their temperature. If it was high, the child was allowed to stay home from school and Mom bought him or her an inexpensive toy from the five and dime. The favored medicine was a cup of hot tea with cream and sugar and a piece of toast to dip. To this day, that is a healing comfort when I’m not well.

I recall thrifty foods Mom invented. She cut the crust off a slice of white bread, layered butter, sugar, and cinnamon, and then rolled it into a ball. Yum. A slice of white bread could end up on a plate with sugar and milk over it, and we ate it with a fork. She cooked macaroni and mixed in a can of stewed tomatoes and to this day I love that combination.

I still have a picture etched in my mind of the last day time I saw Mom alive. She had on a pretty denim Capris outfit with embroidery on the legs of it. After our visit, I started to walk out to my car. I turned to look back. She stood there smiling and waving. I waved and went on, but when I realized I hadn’t hugged her or told her I loved her, I thought I should go back. For some unknown reason I decided not to. Instead, I got in the car and drove away. I would never get to hug her or tell I loved her again. But you know, somehow I think she knew it and I believe she knows it still.

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody
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