Monthly Archives: September 2013


Mom's African Violets

It wasn’t that she didn’t have a green thumb, it was just that she was a “Jack of all Trades” and it was impossible to keep up with all the things that she could possibly be great at some day, given enough time and space to spread her wings. At least this is what she told herself over and over again, and especially any time that self-doubt did not have its way with her. Mastery was not her forte, and yet she craved it just like she craved a best-seller, a number one hit, and the perfect body.

So when her mother’s African Violet began to fade away (only one small bunch even slightly green) while an oxygen machine was the only thing sustaining eighty-four years of life, she chalked it up to one more thing that did not get her full attention, versus the failure that it should have been.

Imagine her surprise one day, a few months after her mother’s death, when that damned dying African Violet decided to be wild and bloom like nobody’s business, despite a lack of bloom food, despite a “green-thumb” caretaker, and despite the nagging mourning of the daughter who, as it turned out, needed those little purple flowers to bloom more than she could have possibly known.

Lillie McFerrin Writes



Mom dancing

While her husband sat, mouth taut, fists clenched, jealousy raging, Mom danced. She and Chris whirled around the room with abandon.

I watched, camera in hand, from the middle of the massive glass doors which had just been pushed wide open upon my entrance into the grand retirement home where Mom lived. Click. Click. Click. The smile on her face said it all, and I had captured it.

Later, after pulling the photographs off my memory card, I smiled again upon remembering the sheer joy I had seen on her face.

Last March after Mom died I used one of the photos for her obituary; I wanted her friends to see her undeniable happiness; something that had eluded her for many years.

A few days ago I came across the photo unexpectedly while searching for something unrelated. Though I had seen the photo a handful of times already, this time I noticed something I hadn’t picked up on before: Mom was staring and smiling contentedly AT HER WEDDING RING.

Instantly I knew.

Instantly I was standing in her body, her powerful mind transporting us both to the ecstasy of true romantic love; she was dancing with my father, the love of her life.

I find it both fascinating and comforting that prior to me having found the love of my life, I hadn’t noticed the stunning significance of the photo. Despite forty-four years of being apart, my mother never stopped loving my father, and though she wore another man’s ring on her finger, what she saw was the ring my father had given her nearly sixty-six years prior. In that moment with Chris, the dance instructor, she was gloriously transported to a magical evening from the past.

Perhaps today Mom is smiling from Heaven at the timing of my unexpected revelation–how it coincides so nicely with the fact that I have finally found my own true love. It’s really all she ever wanted for me: to be truly happy. I am Mom, I am.

I think I’ll take some dance lessons…

Mom and Dad