It’s been a long, cold winter south of Interstate 10. And there have been losses. Last month, Mama called to tell me her brother-in-law died. In January, it was her middle sister, Opal. “That is life,” my mother told me. “Nothing you can do about it.”Mama’s words summoned thoughts of the people I’ve lost. What would I do with a little more time? The answer came easy. I’d ask more questions. About childhoods and yearnings, first loves and heartaches, triumphs and mistakes. And then I’d hush up and listen.The setting for asking these questions would be the front porch of a beloved old farmhouse. I’d hang a comfortable swing. I’d even conjure a nice breeze if the air was thick with heat and humidity. A colorful sunset would seem fitting.I’d meet departed friends and family on that porch, my grandparents, my father, my sister Janie.
Mama was right. There is nothing I can do about loved ones who have gone. But there is something I can do about loved ones still with me. And now that winter has given way to spring, I’ve bought several new notebooks and a new pen.
My intention is to gather narratives during the next round of seasons. I invite you to join me. Begin where you like. I think I’ll start with my mother. After all, Mama was my first word. I imagine it’ll be my last. What lies in between is nothing but stories.