A Mother's Love

Originally, I wanted this to be as an homage for Mother's Day, but I couldn't complete it in time. Oh well, better late than never - Hope you enjoy!

A Mother's Love

By Anon Allsop

It had been five years since I stood on this small grassy hill, five years since I had said my goodbye to one of the best women I had ever known. Sighing, I looked down at the flowers in my hand and quietly placed them in the little vase that stood like a sentinel before the polished stone.

"It's been a long time, Mom." I whispered emotionally.

Behind me, my wife and young son stood, their shadows like mine, were falling upon the ground and across the granite marker that belonged to my mother.

I glanced over my shoulder at my lovely wife, she gave me a reassuring smile. My eyes then traveled to Pierce, our son intently watching me. Raising my hand out to him, he moved closer to grasp it.

"Who was she papa?"

"Pierce, she was my mother - your grandmother."

"Did she ever know me?" he asked softly.

"Your grandma knew your mother and I were trying for you, but sadly didn't live long enough to actually meet you."

The boy grew quiet as I adjusted the flowers within the vase. I caressed her engraved name and slowly stood. Beside me, Pierce had crouched and was mimicking what I had done.

I glanced toward Erin my wife, she only replied with a smile and a wink. Pierce slowly stood and brushed his hands together like I had done, and then stepped back to take his mothers hand. He was positioned between us both as we begun our retreat toward the car.

"Papa, do you miss your mommy?"

I nodded as tears collected in my eyes, "She was a beautiful woman, and would have done everything humanly possible to help a person."

As we neared our car he looked up toward me, "She wasn't your first mommy though, was she?"

I faltered and gave him a quizzical look, then glanced hurriedly toward Erin. "Who told you that?"


"Grandma Isley? Your momma's mother?"

He stopped and left go of my hand and turned back, pointing at the grave we just left. "No, she told me. Grandma Vachon."

I lowered myself to his level, "Pierce, you never met your Grandma Vachon."

"Sure I did." He replied flatly.

I glanced toward Erin, she shrugged and raised her eyebrows in confusion. I returned my look downward and smiled at him, "Pierce, she passed the year before you were born."

I stood and reached to open the car door for him, without asking he climbed in and buckled himself into his booster chair. "I met her before I even knew you or mommy."

I closed his door and glanced over the open sunroof of the car toward my wife, her face had a look of confusion wash across it. "You put him up to this, right?" I countered.

"This is the first that I have ever heard anything like this." She opened her door and climbed in, the soft chimes continued until she closed the door.

I was watching her for any sign that she had been fooling me and put him up to it, I found none. "Okay, I'll bite. Pierce, when actually did you meet your grandma before you knew us?"

He had a small toy truck that he was holding, he was slowly moving it across the chest pad of his seat. "I visited her when she was in the hospital."

Erin quickly glanced toward Pierce and then toward me, "He heard us talking - that's all." I said softly to her.

"Grandma said that she wasn't always a grandma." He pushed the truck off and onto the seat where he laid his head down, his eyes still fixed on the headstone of my mother.

Erin gave a short laugh, "No Pierce, at one time she was a young mommy like me."

He rolled his head toward his mother, "She was young, but she wasn't a mommy like you."

A chill raced down my spine and I quickly looked into the rear view mirror at him, without a word I shut off the car. My action caused Erin to look toward me. "What is it?" She asked.

"Pierce, son - what do you mean that she wasn't a mommy like your own mother?" I shifted in the seat and swiveled my head toward him.

"Grandma had been a boy like you and me."

Erin nearly laughed until she caught my gaze, it felt as though all of my blood washed from my face. Erin touched my arm, concern washed over her. "He can't be serious, can he?"

I lowered my eyes, they became fixated on the floor. "No, it's true but how did... ?"

I turned back toward him, twisting myself in the seat until I could look directly in his face. A parent has a way of knowing through eye contact whether their child is stretching the truth, at least it had always worked with Erin and me.

"Who told you about Grandma?" I asked as I watched him as he tried reaching the toy he had dropped on the seat. He straightened himself and looked directly at me, his eyes never wavering.

"Grandma told me when I visited her in the hospital." He then looked toward his mother. "That was the day that you and mommy brought Grandma the flowers in the glass vase with the bubbles in it.

Erin slowly turned in her seat and faced forward. "He couldn't have known about that, Scott. It was accidentally broken when we were carrying it to the car after she had passed.

"What's he mean by bubbles in it?"

"There were teeny-tiny actual bubbles trapped in the glass - it was quite beautiful."

"How would he know something like that? He wasn't much more than a twinkle in my eye!" I looked back toward Pierce, what he was saying was completely impossible to fathom. "I need to think.."

I stepped out of the car and walked back toward her marker, there I stood with tears in my eyes. I must have lingered there for nearly fifteen minutes, I heard movement nearby me and watched Erin slip along my side. "Pierce fell asleep waiting. I rolled down his window so he could get fresh air."

"I'm sorry for keeping you waiting."

"Don't be." She snaked her arm around mine and edged closer.

"I suppose I owe you an explanation - about her."

"Only when you're ready."

I glanced around, seeing a bench I slowly guided Erin there. Brushing the dust from the wrought-iron we sat down, the sun was warm with a slight breeze blowing.

I looked down at our hands entwined in love as they were, "I'm sure my real mother loved me, I mean she carried me through to term. I think though, that she eventually loved her drugs and alcohol more.

"Dad suspected that mom was slipping alcohol into my drink when I was young, not a lot - but enough to make me sleep. While he wasn't completely certain, it was when he came home from work, and found me staggering in the hallway and mom passed out in our back bedroom - he had enough!"

"He fought for custody and eventually won. Me being removed from her pushed her off the deep end... she was never the same after that. I was not much older than Pierce, and that is around when she overdosed on heroin. It was sometime in early 1991."

"Dad was miserable for a long time. He met a woman at the grocery store and they hit it off and started dating. The rest, I imagine you can guess. Dad fell head over heals for her, it didn't seem to matter that at one time she was as male as he or I. He always said that he only knew her as the beautiful woman he married. We moved shortly after that and they both settled in to as normal of a life as could be possible."

I stood and again walked to the marker, followed quietly by Erin. "Mom, loved flowers like those." I pointed toward the vase, "Hell Erin, she even made a fuss when as a kid, I brought her home bouquets' of Dandelions. She called them, God's gift to children." I gave her a smile, "She said that God made a flower pretty enough for mother's that folks didn't mind so much that kids picked them."

"I recall my own mother saying that."

I inhaled deeply and stared at the marker, "Except for you, she meant more to me than any other woman I ever knew - even more than my own mother."

I felt Erin's hand caress my back. "She had a truly beautiful soul, and I always thought the world of her."

"She knew that too. She had pulled me aside when I was going off to college and told me - Scott, that Erin's a keeper, don't screw it up with a wandering eye on campus."

Erin offered, "I always thought she knew we'd marry even before we actually did."

I hugged Erin and kissed her cheek, "Do you think she knew how much she meant to me?"

"To us..." Erin corrected.

I smiled and gave her hand a squeeze, "To us."

Inhaling deeply, the scent of Lilac was thick in the air, I sought out the bush which grew not far away, Walking to it, I cut off a few sprig's and added it to her vase where the yellows and pinks merged with the lavender of the Lilac.

Erin drank in the heavenly scent as I walked by. "She would love those."
I slowly stood after arranging the lovely flowers for optimum visual impact.

We turned and gradually walked back to our car, pausing to look upon the angelic face of our dear son sleeping. "Now the torch has been passed to us, it is our turn to raise a child and envelope him in love.

As she was working her way around the car, Erin smiled. "Do you suppose there is enough room in us for loving another?"

I hesitated as she lowered herself into the car, behind me, the quiet rustling of the leaves sounded much like mother's giggle. I looked up into the trees as the sunlight filtered and dappled the ground around me.

Another milestone moment when I would have loved to be able and turn to her and once again confide in our happiest news. But I knew that she was watching over all of us, and most likely knew long before we did.

I raised my face to the sky, still picking up the sweet smell of Lilac. Inhaling deeply I closed my eyes and smiled."I sure do miss you, Mom. Happy Mothers Day!"

The End

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