Prickly pear cactus blooms always remind me of my mother. They seem to flower here in the Texas hill country around Mother’s Day every year, and they’ve been coloring the landscape with their sunny faces this week:
After I became an adult, when I would visit my mother–before she started the long Alzheimer’s decline toward her death four years ago–we often walked together in the pastures of the ranch where I grew up. She loved the outdoors and nature and animals as I do, and the memories of those walks as we noticed wildflowers and other plants and all kinds of creatures nurture me still.
It was indoors though, that my mother said something to me I will always remember and which will always move me.
We were shopping in a mall in San Antonio. I was about twenty, and my mother would have been about the age I am now. We walked past a pet store, and I exclaimed in dismay over the pitiable animals–puppies? kittens? I’ve forgotten which–encaged in a showcase window. They looked so forlorn, and I was outspokenly indignant about their treatment.
We stopped walking. Mother faced me with her entire body, looked me full in the face and said, “How like you, Daughter.”
This conveyed to me then, and says to me now, that she got me, that she understood what made me tick. She recognized what was important to me, she accepted me as I was, and she approved.
What a wonderful gift to give a daughter as she prepared to grow up and away from her mother.
How like her to do that for me.
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Does something your mother said to you stand out in your memory? What does it communicate to you today?
Complete the following: “My mother knew __________.” OR “I reflect my mother in _________.”