Umber (19.4 – Vera’s Story)

March 17, 2012 § 2 Comments

How I missed my mother!  As strict and as sanctimonious as papa was, that’s how sweet my mama was.  That night, after she died, I remembered how, some weeks earlier, I had been helping her pull weeds in the garden while everyone else was away in the fields.  She had abruptly put down the hoe, plucked a pink chrysanthemum from the flowerbed by the gate, and tucked it behind my ear.  Then, laughing and singing a song about sleeping and morning bells, she twirled me around like a ballerina in the grass.  Then we sat hidden between rows of dry, crackly pole beans, and she told me about her ancestors from Picardy.  They had boarded a ship called the “Spotted Cow” and floated across the Atlantic Ocean until they bumped into New Jersey, and, she had said, that’s why I spoke English instead of French.


§ 2 Responses to Umber (19.4 – Vera’s Story)

  • Ann says:

    Nice. Did I ever tell you that the night Mom died, I woke up (before I got the call at 4am), thinking about a dream I’d just had where I’d walked into a room in the townhouse, only to find that she had made the bed up in a pink satin quilt and placed a bouquet of pink roses on the bed. And in the dream, I thought, well that’s weird, Mom hates pink and she NEVER makes up a bed!

  • No, I don’t think you told me that–wow. I had a dream about her a few nights after she died, and it had to do with music and pouring crayons in all these beautiful colors out of some sort of container. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but during the dream, I was so aware of her presence.

    You’re right, bedmaking has never been high on our priority list in this family–a tradition that’s lasted at least three generations!

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