I noticed the small pile in the basement a few days ago. On somewhat of a cleaning mission now, I kneeled down to take a closer look. On top of the pile rested a CD. Right then I realized what this was. Affixed to the CD was the smiling face of my late mom. Picking it up, I held in my hand the disk she had lovingly entitled, “Tutu Sings” on which she had recorded around 18 children’s songs a capella. She’d sung these songs and recorded them for my daughters many years ago.
Gently, I began to sift through the pile. Beneath the disk lay a list of credit card logins, passwords – a list my wife had written down in an effort to help my dad sort through what was once a joint financial life but would now become his and his alone. For on April 21st, 2017, my mom had passed away suddenly, the cancer finally winning out.
Other artifacts from that terrible time rested in the pile, as well. A mournful collection. My eyes clouded a bit as I looked through it all and remembered. Mixed in were touching photos of Mom and a baby, now my ten-year-old daughter. Wow, I thought, these pictures are now ten years old. In each picture, my mom is smiling vibrantly. Always so happy. Always spreading joy to others. That was the essence of my mother. She lived her life as a bright light illuminating darkness. Always helping others. Always love. That was her.
I located a small box for the contents of the pile, and with a heavy heart I placed the items inside and closed the box. But I know my heart will never be closed off from the wonderful woman I was privileged enough to call my mom.
Donna Rae Callaway Ball died April 17, 2017. May she rest in peace.