Had she lived this would have been my mother’s 94th birthday. Even given a long lived family, she probably wouldn’t still be here. As it was, she passed away in 1961 at only 42 and I only had her as part of my life for 17 years and only lived with her for less than half of that time. Still some people are like lightening. They make an indelible mark on the lives around them. My mother was one of those people and to this day the music she made and the songs she sang still echo from far far away.
Gone From My Sight
by Henry Van Dyke
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”
And that is dying…
I really tried to come up with one song, because she really could have given Judy Garland lessons if it weren’t for the self-destructive avenue of her life. Because of her literature, music and theater have infused my life. … Still for mommy and me after all these years, the song has to be:
Well put your arms around me, Honey
Hold me tight
Huddle up and cuddle up
With all your might
Oh, oh, won’t you roll those eyes
Eyes that I just idolize?
Well when they look at me
My heart begins to float
Then it starts a rockin’
Like a motor boat
Oh, oh, I never knew anyone like you
And for the music