Commentary by Devon Wade
Your birthday is in a couple of days and so is Mother’s Day. And as the matriarch and perhaps the most idolized person in the family, I have to say it’s going to be weird celebrating these two occasions without you here. We will celebrate your life nonetheless. We will think of our fondest memories of you. We will cry because you are gone, but we will ultimately smile because God allowed us to have the time that we did with you.
As for me personally, I will remember growing up and seeing you as almost a deity. If there was ever a person that I thought could live forever, it surely had to be my Meme. After all, you were the same person that would pick up the garter snakes and fling them across the yard when I was a young child and too afraid to (not much has changed in that regard, I probably still wouldn’t touch a snake to this day).
You were the same person that seemingly had enough food and bird houses in your front yard to feed and house every bird in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Even they loved and adored you and, though you didn’t have the look of a super hero in my eyes you could do anything.
In my mind, I always saw you being at my graduations, my wedding, and even be around to see me have children of my own, especially my future daughter whom I’ve always known that I wanted to name Rose Marie after you.
I wanted my future children to share the same experiences I had as a child. I wanted them to drink the best coke-floats ever made by any human after playing all day outside in the Arkansas summer heat. I wanted them to wake up to the aroma of Meme’s famous breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast crispy (but not too crispy) and buttered to perfection, sausage, and bacon. I wanted them to experience the family prayers you led right before our Thanksgiving meal (the prayers I always had a hard time concentrating on because I was too excited about how the dressing was going to taste).
I wanted you to live as long as I did but, as a child, I never considered that would be challenging considering you had a 60 year
head-start on me. As I got older, I could no longer deny the inevitability of your mortality. The inevitability that there would one day be a Mother’s Day where the “Mother” of our entire family would no longer be here and the inevitability that your birthday would come and I wouldn’t be able to call you and hear your voice.
That time has come and that time is now and I find myself at peace with it because you are only gone physically. You have never left my heart or my thoughts and I know you will remain there, even when I become a parent myself and attempt to recreate the best coke-floats ever made by any human.
Meme, I know you are reading this from heaven, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY and HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
With Lots and Lots of love,
Devon Christopher Wade