Black maryjane shoes and cute ankle socks on Sunday morning, fighting in the front pew,
as horse drawn carriages roll by slowly in the hot South Carolina sun.
Walking up dusty, unpaved roads, going home to lemonade,
to braid your hair on the back porch.
And you grew to marry and create, and to love and nurture
when nurturing may not have been the first thing on your mind
Your house - full of love, and laughter intermingled with scents of fried fish and cornbread,
with friendly chatter over sudsy hands while you washed and Mom dried.
How I loved to awaken to bacon, and grits, and the radio and...your humming.
And it was secretly known that we were to be quiet, while you watched "your stories"
which blended into game shows.
You never missed a night of reading a verse from the bible...seated in your favorite chair in the dining room,
while the crickets and cicadas sang softly as the sun slipped sweetly into the comfort of twilight.
Your hands, soft and delicate, like fine parchment paper, always seemed to carry a hint of Jergens lotion.
And you would raise your voice in song to sing snatches of hymns when your mood was light.
How the years rolled by, and I was too young to know,
that time had a way of taking pieces of you...
Until I stood over you, reading a psalm, and you opened your eyes and I saw...gratitude.
And now, if I tilt my head just right, I'll hear you whisper softly on the summer breeze..."I Love You"
And I'll catch a distinct whiff of Jergen's hand lotion.
~ J.L. Whitehead