A dear friend’s mom died last week. The family gathered and started putting together a slide show of favorite pictures. Out of the blue, I received an email from my oldest daughter, Bojie, with the subject line
Fwd: photo of your mom in 1971-ish.
The body of the email said, “OMG! Look at you! luv boj.”
I stopped and really studied that picture. At first I didn’t recognize that face looking back at me. Sure the physical characteristics were different – 40+ years younger, darker and longer hair. However, what struck me most were the eyes and mouth looking back at me. They are so wide-eyed and determined as if all the pieces of life’s puzzle were clear to her.
But how could that be? I’m 27 in that picture and about to have my second child, my son Tico. I finally got my gypsy man to settle down in Carlsbad, and we were rapidly creating a family that would expand to five lively, talented and very different children. He was trying to support the family in a plethora of odd jobs that included gardening, managing apartments, teaching part time at the local community college and of course, playing his music. I was determined to be “mother earth” – cooking big pots of soup, babysitting all our friends’ children, baking home made bread and sewing clothes plus knitting and crocheting too. That “lovely pink dress” was one of my stylish creations J
What could I have known about how many changes were yet to take place? Soon I would tire of my homebound lifestyle and, after a third baby in four years, I would decide I needed to work. I became an instructional aide in my husband’s ESL classes, had two more children, returned to college to obtain my BA and MA, and then adopted a rather peripatetic and definitely frenetic lifestyle as a consultant for several adult education projects. I even took a job for three years in Sacramento, flying to work on Monday mornings and returning home on Thursday evenings.
Then life changed again. I grew weary of coming in and out of the fabric of my family life and decided to look for work that didn’t require travel. Luckily I was hired as the first noncredit faculty member at MiraCosta College, and I stayed put until my retirement last May.
I can’t quit looking at those eyes and the confidence that young face portrayed. Little did she know what lay ahead of her – the difficulties, the uncertainty, the joy, and the successes. The only constant that she and I shared was the abiding love and support from the young guitarist we chose to follow so long ago!
Maybe that is the source of her wisdom and confidence. She knew all things were possible as long as Ramey and Heather stayed together - and they have!