Feature: Memory

Chance conversation at work revives son's precious memory of his mother

| May 2008

  • Stormy-weather-25p-A.jpg
    STORMY WEATHER: A sudden rain shower in the country created­ a memory that would be cherished years later.
    iStockPhoto.com/Tomasz Pietryszek

  • Stormy-weather-25p-A.jpg

Good memories can sometimes be like items in a lost and found department. With time they become lost, but when they're recovered years later, they seem magical.

As I reached my fifth birthday, my family had moved to a farm near Waverly, Tenn. A pasture rolled out from the front yard, and on its border a creek-gravel driveway stretched just over two-tenths of a mile.

My mother and I walked up this lane nearly every morning. It was here one day that we were chased home by a steadfast predator: a hard-pouring shower.

Until then, I'd been warned to steer clear of rain. Now, the shower was bearing down on us with an implacable certainty. No matter how fast my mother and I ran, we would not make it to the safety and shelter of our home. It looked like the end for us.

Mom scooped me up and continued to run. The rain overtook us as we neared our yard, and I began to cry as the droplets wet my hair. That's when Mom decided it was time to let me know that the rain wouldn't hurt me, just make me wet. To prove it, she put me down and held out her arms, letting them quickly become soaked.

We were both drenched in seconds, but we had smiles on our faces. Mine was because I'd survived the onslaught of this lashing rain, hers was from witnessing the natural and innocent beauty that only comes in the form of a small child.

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