If she were wealthy…

I took home a box of Mom’s notebooks to go through. She had a “dream” book, where she glued pictures from magazines of things she would have liked to use in decorating her home.  She never had the money to do much with those ideas.  I am grateful to my sister Pat that in the last year she made sure Mom’s walls were painted and rugs replaced, and that the colors Mom loved were used.  Some of my best memories this past year involve hours spent at my mother’s house with my sisters painting.   Among  Mom’s papers I found a sheet of paper she had jotted this down:

To ride a motorcycle again
to feel the wind in my hair
to hug the one I love
as we ride in the moonlight.

If we had been wealthy
my husband could have worn
wide legged jeans and engineer boots
like the jeans and boots he wore
before his ankle had been smashed.

If we had been wealthy
my husband wouldn’t have been
working for a lumberyard and
sitting on top a load of wallboard
when the truck hit a train track and
the load slid off and injured him.

If we had been wealthy
a policeman wouldn’t have had to
come to notify me my husband
was in the hospital with a smashed leg
and maybe “other injuries.   Did you
know you’re living in a room of a condemned building?”

If we had been wealthy
his leg could have had
special attention a break
needs when it doesn’t heal right
and leaves him in pain and crippled.

If we had been wealthy
my husband wouldn’t have had
to come back to that room
to swelter in the summer heat
with no way to find relief
or eat the proper food.

If we had been wealthy
a pregnant woman like me
wouldn’t have been walking the streets
to find somewhere else to live,
a basement room perhaps, that
would be cool and safe.

If we had been wealthy
But then we wouldn’t have found
Mrs. Nannini who heard our story
and gave us a room with
a fan for $10 a month and food that
she said were their leftovers-ha!

God bless her wherever she is.

~ I feel as if I have gotten a glimpse into my mother’s soul with these words.   She didn’t wish for wealth in order to purchase furs or jewels, just for good medical care for her husband.   And she turned a bad situation into something good and precious by seeing the good in someone who helped them at the time. Next time I am whining about something, I will remember these words. My mother kept copious amounts of notebooks and notes on things ranging from religion to smoking.  She was the epitome of a lifelong learner, and one of the reasons homeschooling appealed to me in the first place. She never stopped learning.

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