What I Remember

I don’t remember how sick Mom looked at the end. Or the number of days I sat watching her cling to life in hospice. I don’t remember what her breath sounded like the day she died. Or the faces of the strangers who stood beside me grieving because my mom had changed them for the better in some way.

But I do remember her beauty. The way her smile always reached her eyes and how she laughed from her belly each and every time. I remember how I wished I had her dark, flawless skin. I remember that her cascading brown hair smelled like coconuts and Rave hairspray.

Her nails always had red or pink polish covering them. She filed the tips to a point.

I remember we didn’t go to church because she said God lives in our hearts. She said miracles are all around us, and if we pay attention we will see them. Her beliefs didn’t fit neatly into one religion. She prayed, but also carried stones in her purse for good health and mustard seed in a charm for faith when she needed it most.

I remember that her good jewelry never sat in a box. Gold rings encircled each finger. Bracelets jangled from her wrists.

I remember her love for nature and that she liked getting dirt on her hands. She didn’t like flowers in a vase because they belonged in the soil. I remember the sound of her flipflops as she padded through the backyard, watering and pruning her garden. She knew how much light and water each of her flowers needed by heart.

I remember that she couldn’t sing and didn’t care. She’d shout the lyrics to any song while driving. She loved Whitney, Madonna, Diana Ross, and the Carpenters. At home, she’d move the couch and play Motown records so we could dance.

I remember her desire to do something more. She kept a scrapbook with pictures, cards, kind words, and trinkets she received from each patient she cared for while working as a hospice nurse. She grieved for them when they passed, but did her part to keep their spirits alive through sharing her memories with anyone who’d listen.

I remember her love for coffee. All day, every day. Never creamer or sugar. Always hot.

I remember her lesson to slow down and enjoy the little things. She always stopped to smell roses, and she always put her bare toes in the sand if she had the chance.

I don’t remember everything, but I remember what matters most.

20 thoughts on “What I Remember

  1. A really lovely tribute to your mom — I can just picture her, your writing is so vivid.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely, Danielle. I’m so glad you have these memories of your mom at her best.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You described Terri just the way I remember her. I think of her often. She sure was a kind lady and sister-in-law.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. so beautifully written. those are surely the best memories. I always find it catches my heart when I remember something about my Mom I had previously forgotten. An event or comment will raise a memory. They’re always there, just not always immediately available. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! Sometimes I feel her so close to me – usually when I need it most. Thank you for commenting.


  5. What beautiful memories you have of your mom. You write about her in a very special way.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your writing is cathartic Danielle. This piece of yours makes me remember little things about my father instead of grieving for him.Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s taken me a long time to get here. Much love to you, Sara.


  7. Danielle, this post is so lush with vivid imagery and warmth. Your mom sounds absolutely beautiful. I bet you are just like her. Thanks for sharing your memories with us. Hugs xx


  8. I remember that her cascading brown hair smelled like coconuts and Rave hairspray. — really love this, it took me with you. This was a beautiful memory of your mother, I could picture her flip flops in the garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I even could picture your mom just by reading it! It was so vivid and beautifully written. You are a deep observer. Even, I can’t how my mom is that detail! Keep going, Danielle! Love it so much ❤ have a blast day!


    Liked by 1 person

  10. This read like a love letter. Thank you for letting us share in your relationship with your mother. It felt honest and raw, the sort of thing you’ve wanted to write but haven’t been able to. I liked the concept of beginning the paragraphs with “I remember”, but after a while I was noticing that more than I was engaging with the paragraph. It’s so hard to write about a loss like this, and you did a wonderful job of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I know this one needs work. It is so hard paying tribute to someone. There is always more love to be shared, more memories there aching to be said.


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