One of my neighbors recently died. My mother passed away a little more than six years ago. These two ladies were a lot alike, and I miss them both.
My mom lived to be 90 and Sarah missed that mark by less than a year. Both came from modest backgrounds and earned university degrees, despite the odds. Both were teachers whose later lives were filled with physical and social adventures and devotion to their churches. Both were sensible and wise, able to laugh at themselves and the foibles of others. Both were eternally optimistic.
Both were from big families. Although Sarah never had children of her own, she was deeply devoted to nieces, nephews and godchildren. Her relationship with them was as close as my mom’s with my sister and me and the grandchildren she adored.
Living far away from my mom, I would seek out Sarah’s company when I craved mothering. I doubt she ever realized her time with me was so nurturing, and I now regret never having told her. I hope somehow she felt my appreciation for her presence in my family’s life. And I like to believe that she and my mom meet on occasion for a morning swim in the rec center of heaven.