My mother Hilary Armstrong, she was a country beauty, she always loved the smell of freshly cut flowers in the Summertime and lazy Winter afternoons curling up with a good book. They were the memories I best loved about my mother, the way she held me tight after I’d have a bad dream, or bring me chicken soup in bed when I was sick-
But even those memories that have stuck long in my mind and with the fondest and warmest feelings I keep in my heart, it’s today, a day it has been for the past three years since her passing. It was the Breast Cancer that made her sick, that slowly made her sicker and sicker, and then on a Spring morning on a Saturday, we’d planned a day at the beach. I drove thirty minutes to the St.Montana Beach, she wanted to breathe in the salt air, watch the waves and feel the soft cold sand between her toes.
She did all she had wanted, the sand she squished between her toes and underneath her feet, the rippling waves she watched intently as she laid down between my legs and rested her head on my chest, she laid there feeling the coolness of the air brush across her face and then in those few precious moments I had with my mother before she slipped away.
I talked to her about everything I could possibly say, I didn’t know this would be the last time I’d ever hear her sweet toned voice, or smell her daisy perfume…My mother was what kept me strong, I was strong for her and I know she was trying to stay as strong as she could possibly be for me.
My mother, she used to have such lovely long blonde hair, she had a body with curves, green eyes that gleamed like glitter in the sun, her smile was what always cheered me up and made me feel so loved and lucky. She raised me so well.
I was born into this world on a hot Summer’s day, my mother gave birth to a little girl, Me, after twelve hours of labour alone. She named me Kamea, Hawaiian meaning ‘Precious One’, that was her pet name for me, my mother always said I was just meant to be born. It was always her positivity that kept me going, and when I decided to give up on things, my mother was always there to lift me up and encouraged me to keep trying. She lifted my spirits and loved me unconditinally right to her last breath.
Three years ago today, another year I’ve made it, but it’s a very lonely road. My mother didn’t have any siblings, as I don;t, and her parents booted her out from under their roof after the mentioning of a baby.
So at a young age of seventeen, my mother left with a small suitcase in hand, and $100 she’d saved from her birthday money. She hadn’t anywhere to go, but she managed to find solace in her one and only friend whose family became a blessing to her when she needed it so much.
The Patrickson family were the one’s who accepted her into their home, who doted her like she was one of their own. Her friend, Gretta Patrickson, she was more than happy to have her friend stay with her and her family.
My mother stayed with them until she turned nineteen, and I was nearly two. The Patrickson encouraged and helped my mother out with child care while she was able to finish her studies, that was something my mother was forever grateful for, having such warm and loving people.
My mother moved away shortly after that, keeping inj minimal contact with the Patrickson’s and even still to this day we still receive a christmas card, though I couldn’t find in myself to call them and tell of my mother’s passing, but knowing I really shoul.
But as I now stand by my Mother’s grave, placing another bunch of hetr favourite freshly cut roses on her grave and rest them against the tombstone reading, ‘In loving memory’, those words rang true.
I didn’t cry or let a single tear fall, I showed my strength, like I did back three years to the day, it was a very simple ceremony, a man of the cloth, me and the only friend I had at the time, Macy. A friend who’d helped me dearly, but after the loss of my Mother, I pushed her away.
So my mother’s life was exceptional, being an only child abandoned and adopted into another, then leaving the adopted-nest to spread her wings free.
That’s how my mother always was, a free spirit. She never liked to stay in the same place too long, so I remeber moving a lot from the earliest memory of our house in Donnican, a quaint town near the rive, I was five.
My mother never did tell me much about my father, she only ever told me his name was Frank, he was bartender at the Blue House club in Tennisville, and it was a one time thing, she had a photo of him which is the only thing I possess of my father, or better known as my ‘sperm donor,’ that’s what my mother liked to call him.
As drips of rain pitter pattered down , I opened up my white umberella, smiled and whispered, ‘I Love You Alway’, before I walked back to my car, a blue Kia, it was a gift from my mother before her passing.
I opened the front door, slugged myself in and behind the steering wheel, put the key in the ignition and turned it on, I drove away with the soothing sounds of Michael Buble’s song ‘Sway’.