Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy Birthday

to my Mother. She would have been 82 today and this was her favorite time of year.

Every fall, she and my Dad would drive up to the Skyline Drive to see the amazing display of red's, oranges and yellows. As long as I can remember, seeing the fall colors anywhere was probably at the top of her list of simple pleasures.

Our birthday's are only 7 days apart and in the past decade or so, the cards we exchanged got more and more outrageous. You never received one card from her -- it was usually 5 or 6. And in recent years, they were often animated with music or funny sayings, and a few always contained political satire. I had a hard time keeping up and to this day, have no idea where she got some of them.

Buying a birthday gift was always easy -- Borders gift cards. She was a voracious reader and since her town didn't have a Barnes and Noble, and she didn't want to buy books online, gift cards it was. A few weeks later, I would get a call in which she would describe what books she had bought and usually, already read.

Linda, being an avid scrap booker, reminded me the other day how much interest Mom took in whatever project she was working on. The projects of late included a multi-volume scrapbook of our daughter's wedding and thankfully, she got to see most of the completed project. She was unable to attend our daughter's graduation from medical school but Linda prepared a wonderful scrapbook that I was able to deliver personally. She took quite awhile savoring each picture and asking very pointed questions about each one. She died a week later.

Of all the poetry I have read, none describes her life as well as Robert Frost's classic. She always took the road less traveled, and everyone she met on that journey was a better person for it.

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful tribute. Sounds like she had a vibrant life to the end.