Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Mother's Obituary ...

      Lottie Allen Charbonnet
       1894 - 1995
You will be remembered as a single bright feather aimed heavenward-- on a pink silk hat ...
three-inch heels on moire sandals with small red rose on toes
as a single fragile butterfly in a windswept world of those too caught up to notice
your need for touching and loving and caring -- and most of all --
for seeing your beauty.

Bereft of world views, books unread, causes unserved,
your time on earth was spent in simple ways --
ways suited to a temperament shaped by your motherless
beginnings that brought no models for your own mothering
but instilled a deep appreciation for family in its broadest sense.
The legacy of that love-filled cabin in St. James and your own dear Mama
who nurtured her brood with enough intensity to last a lifetime.
It is that larger family that will most miss your presence on this earth --
family and friends of all ages -- many of whom stayed with you through a long life as a replacement for those lost ...
until the end came ...

I will miss you deeply.
as we came full circle during your long lifetime ...
reversing roles until -- near the end when reality had become shadowed,
you quite seriously introduced me to others as "mother."
Perhaps I became the mother you couldn't remember, "Minette," returned.
You invariably made the correction,
but I sensed that no error had been made.
In those final days you may have re-created her through me.

I honor you in death as I loved you in life.


Photo: Mother at the age of 95 participating in a luau in Hawaii. She lived to be 101.