“Family.” That word conjures up so many things: happy times together at the dinner table, laughter, chasing fire flies at night and capturing them in jars; gawking at them until their little lights flickered out.
Some people are born into a family; some are adopted, and some just create their own. When my father died, I hid back in the back of the funeral parlor with my childhood friend Barb because I needed her strength to get me through the service. I left my mother and sister sitting before Dad’s casket at the front of the parlor and trudged back to Barb’s side before Mom realized what I had done.
My mother was terribly hurt by my desertion, and once she got ahold of me again; she clamped onto my hand so tightly that I was reminded of when I was a child and she would use that “steel like” Momma grip to steer me out of trouble — or mischief.
I felt no remorse for my cowardly actions because I knew I needed Barb’s strength more than Mom needed mine. Afterall Mom had always been my protector, and I was an emotional baby at the time; so my faulty logic was simple: Mom had my sister for moral support… and I had Barb!
As I previously mentioned, once Mom got her hands on me she held on tight until we left the cemetery. She never said a word about my actions but later, once I had regained my “adult” perspective, I apologized. She gazed at me with those steely blue eyes and simply said: “Don’t let it happen again.” As if I would EVER again be that stupid!