My favorite writer submitted this post for review a couple of years back and I am just now seeing it. Still relevant.
Love you, Jules.
Here in the South people usually think of April and May as the best weather months. They like the sunshine, the warm days and cool nights, the soft winds, brisk winds, and cooking outside. Some will be observed working in their yards; mowing, clipping, planting stuff, trimming stuff up to and including large trees. It’s a time of coming out of the winter and its dark, cold, wet rule.
Jennifer’s birthday is May 10.
Mothers’ Day falls there around somewhere, usually within 3-5 days.
For years and years, over 20 I’d guess, I didn’t have to worry about Mothers’ Day; Grandma, Mama and Sister were all gone lo these many years. But, more importantly, for those same years, I’d also been privileged to circulate within the Sterling Realm. I had Janeice. Sort of an uneven tradeoff, but certainly sharing the same space with such a loving, tolerant, patient, kind soul as Janeice was a wonderful experience. So, for Mothers’ Day we celebrated with Janeice et al.
It was at Janeice’s table that I first learned of The Potato Casserole and Rolls, followed by The Coconut Cake.( I’ve heard cussing on Christmas before when someone went to scarf up some more cake only to find it gone in one of two ways: 1. Plate there, but empty. 2. Totally gone, plate washed, no sign of cake.) But those are topics within themselves and will wait for their own venue. I digress.
May to me means Jennifer’s birthday, the Canton Flea Market with Jennifer, Mother’s Day at Jennifer’s. It must mean other things as well, but these are the ones that stand out in my mind.
I wonder what I will do with this May; I don’t have much energy to try and think of things, and barely find success in getting dressed every day. I find myself sitting very still, listening inside for I know not what. I only know that I must listen, and that I don’t want to miss whatever it turns out to be.
I find joy in watching Bo Romine-Sterling play and run in the yard. The yard we are trying so hard to get fenced in for him. He is such a loving dog, and comes to me often just to lay his big head on my knee. And he climbs into my lap at times, just to be hugged and petted. He knows he is loved, but the uncertainty in his eyes lets me know that he has not forgotten the shelter, or maybe what brought him to the circumstances to be placed in the shelter.
I hate the way he cringes when something is raised, no matter what it is; as if he’s used to having whatever it is brought down on his head. I love holding him and saying nonsense words into his ear, reassuring words, loving words. I love it when the uncertain look in his eyes changes to one of glee as we play. He fetches and brings back his squeak toy to me over and over and over, and I throw it endlessly for him, delighting in his exuberance in the game.
Then I think maybe this is what May means to me now. Maybe a little dog’s joy and happiness is what May is about. And it makes my heart smile as I stroke Bo’s big head while typing this with one hand. Because I don’t want to stop petting him, don’t want to stop giving him comfort and peace and happiness.
And I know this is love. The unconditional love that Jennifer gave me and taught me how to give. She’s smiling down on me now and saying “You got this Jules”.