It was fall and Mother and I were sitting outside on the concrete picnic table. We have breakfast out there frequently.
“Mother, you’ll be eighty in June. Let’s have a big party.” I said, already thinking about how nice we could make it.
She was hesitant.
“I don’t have any friends, just my family,” she replied but there was a little sparkle in her eyes. Born poor white trash on the wrong side of Little Rock, Mother saw enough television in her young wife years to know there was a life beyond illiteracy (her father never finished fourth grade) and poverty. I thought to myself, I can give her elegant for once in her life.
“How about an art show?” I asked her.
The audience could be broader for that, I thought to myself.
Mother has been painting for 50 years but in the last ten years, its been a passion that makes her forget time. She is an artist of colors. Flowers and children and churches flow out of her brush and off her pallet and if you press her to name them she calls them ‘Joy’ and “Happiness” and other similar homonyms of idyllic life.
Her painting is a confirmation that there isbeauty and grace in life. In many ways, its an escape, because its a tough life she has led. As she approaches eighty, its no less tough,