We sat on the comfy couch in her decorated living room, the Christmas tree twinkling against the snowy, morning light and ripped wrapping paper strewn around us. My mama and I held each other as the song continued to play, rocking back and forth to the melodious piano. She began to shed a few loving tears as the revealing lyrics began,
“You make everything so simple in a crazy world / And I’m trying to find the words to say / You make everything all right just by being around…”
“Make me a CD of all of my favorite songs for Christmas, Linds,” She instructed me to do for her during the holidays of 2009. I had not only made her a mix CD of all of her requested songs, including “Sympathy for the Devil” by The Rolling Stones (She had fantastic taste in music in case that wasn’t previously mentioned) but I had snuck in a few of my own that I thought she would enjoy. One ditty, in particular, I strategically placed at the end of the CD.
“I want to play a song for you,” I disclosed as I handed her the mix CD adorned with a festively self-designed album cover.
“I dedicate this song to you, mama,” I earnestly confessed.
I had stumbled across this wonderfully talented and not so well known female artist, Laura Izibor, from Ireland earlier that Fall. Her song, “Mmm” struck a sensitive chord with me as it immediately made me think fondly of my mama every time I heard it. I often refer to this musically related intensity as, “plucking at my heart strings.”
The song continued to play and my mama’s heightened emotions became more visible with each verse that was sung. We held each other tightly, her head resting on my slumped shoulder, both of us swaying with the soothing melody.
“…You’re my light in the dark / Guiding, guiding me Home / Your faith in me is all I need / Your love sets me free…” That one line, alone, has always stuck with me, as I couldn’t think of a better way to describe my exact sentiments toward my extraordinary mama. After she passed, I wandered around in what seemed like perpetual darkness with no place I felt secure or comfortable enough to call home. My motivation, my self-worth, and my enthusiasm for life – it all, and then some, drastically floundered in her initial absence and long after.
As today heavily marks what would be my dear mama’s 59th birthday, I find myself greatly reflecting on that white Christmas of 2009 in Kansas City. It was the last time my entire immediate family – mom, dad and older brother – were together under the same roof celebrating our favorite holiday. All it took was an incredibly moving three minutes and twenty-five seconds of my life, my mama and I’s life together, to create an everlasting memory – a memory that, today, reminds me that even in her physical absence, she forever remains my light, guiding me, centering me with her unconditional faith and love.