Tribute  9/4/2014
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A very close friend of mine lost his mother this past weekend.  I never met her in person or talked to her on the phone. Never sat in her kitchen and shared a pot of tea or looked through her picture albums and listened to her stories about her family.  I mourn her loss because I will never get to do those things. Yet in some small way, I felt like I did know her. Jack described her to me a bit and shared a photo or two. Sometimes he would let drop a few things about her and how it was to be growing up with her.

It wasn’t just those things, though, that made me feel I knew this woman who lived an ocean away. It was Jack himself who showed me through his actions just who his mother was. Who helped me see, through the words he writes and the attitudes he bears, her guiding hand through his youth and her gentle wisdom beyond his callow years.  Through him I can see her scolding her children to mind their manners, to be protective of the old and the young, to give the shirt off your back if that’s what it takes to ease someone’s plight.  I see a woman with infinite patience and a keen sense of humor, someone not afraid to have a bit of fun or to light into one of her kids if he’d done something wrong. A woman who put up with her husband’s craziness and the antics of her children with grace and style and every once in a while, a roll of her eyes.

In the man Jack has become, I get my own clear picture of the woman who raised him. I don’t know how accurate my picture of her is, and I’ll never know for sure now, but somehow I think it might be close. In the wake of her passing, what I will miss the most about this very special lady is the possibility of getting to know her better.

Comments:

What a lovely tribute for a friend!
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