Silver Lining: the most important lesson from my angel mother

June 30, 2013

the most important lesson from my angel mother

We rarely just had dinner as a family growing up.

I say that not because we weren't all there, but because there were frequently extra people at our table. A friend, a neighbor, someone's children.

The memories are vivid: my mom stirring dinner and on the phone. She'd say "I just love your little daughter so much. Won't you let me watch her for the day tomorrow? I know you have so much to do with _______ coming up." Which was code for "You're at the edge of your rope. I'll help."

That's the kind of person my mom was. She was constantly sending dinners home with people or holding fussy babies in church.

She didn't wear much make-up.
She didn't do her nails.
Or wear expensive clothes.

She was beautiful.

She was so beautiful because she understood the simplest truths in life: people are more important than things. It's not about getting followers or high scores or compliments on your newest shade of lipstick. If that's your focus, you're kind of missing the boat. It's about people. It's about time, and love.

Tomorrow is my mom's birthday. I sat down to play Pachelbel's Canon in D today, and it took me three times as long as normal. The notes wouldn't stop swimming around on the page. That empty part in my heart that I buried on that December day when I was nineteen kept acting up.

So here's to the most beautiful person I know: thank you for being my angel mother. Thank you for who you deliberately were, and who you deliberately weren't. Thanks for the peaceful graveside mornings, for that folded up letter you left for me to read when you were gone, and for that morning at my school. I still don't really know how the whole angel thing works, but I know you've been here, helping, guiding, protecting. I love you mom. The hot tamales are for you.


  1. This is one of her traits I think about most. She was such an amazing example to us all. Now I'm sobbing. I miss her so much.

  2. My heart goes out to you, Brooke. Sending lots of love your way!

  3. My Mom knew your Mom (from church) and always spoke so highly of her.

  4. sounds like your mother rubbed off on you.
    you are both wonderful.


  5. So tender, Brooke. I always look forward to your posts about your mom. Such beautiful writing describing what sounds like a beautiful woman :)

  6. Seriously loved this post. You are amazing.


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