In Week 34 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for my mother, Rosemary Luckett.
The place was remarkably clean as I remember.
It’s my Dad’s first year at ITC Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia and we’ve not long moved into the apartment. My brother’s a baby and I’m between first and second grade.
Sterile seems a more accurate description. The walls were stark white. The ceiling is white. The floor is white and black speckled laminate. The only thing breaking up the monotony of the space was a thick, dark grey rubber border running along the bottom of the walls. In the living room, there’s a large window that spanned the height of the wall, sitting just above a motel style air conditioner.
It’s quiet, too. It’s Saturday morning. At our old house, the neighborhood would already be bustling with the sound of lawn mowers and playing kids. But here, it’s dead quiet, aside from the muffled sound of city traffic due to being some way off in the distance. I’m looking out the living room window onto the spacious, grassy courtyard dotted with large trees and thinking perhaps I’ll play out there.
And then, it started as the sound of gentle arrhythmic taps against metal -like salt being slowly sprinkled on aluminum foil. It was the first droplets of rain hitting the coils of the air condition unit. The window began to collect a few drops making a circuitous path toward the sill. Then, what began as a sprinkle became a thunderous shower and sheets of rain are now streaming down the window.
There was suddenly static, like a TV without a clear channel. And then the sound alternated between music, then voices and music again, each electronically garbled between transitions. My mother had gone and gotten the radio and brought it to the front room. She was turning a large silver knob, searching for the right station. When she found one playing a song, she bent forward toward me with her arms stretched out and hands open, motioning for me to dance.
She took me by the hands twisting, jumping and skipping about as we danced to Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and the music of that day. My brother was on the couch in his diaper and she’d occasionally scoop him up so he could dance with us too. A dreary, lonely day was suddenly filled with light. All I remember was the brightness of her countenance and the fullness of her smile as her full, black untamed hair bounced exuberantly upon her shoulders. This is my mother; my wonderful, beautiful, incomparable mother. It is a moment that perfectly encapsulated her as a person. Over and over throughout my life, she took a cold, empty husk of an existence and filled it with joy, hope and love.
I don’t remember the music ending. I hope it never does. If I could relive that moment for eternity, that would be heaven.
I thank God continually for you, Mom. I love you.
I’m grateful. #52WoG
Originally posted to Facebook on August 21, 2021.