The Chocolate Shake

After a long life spent caring for and about her family, my mother has left us. It happened early Sunday morning, at the home she and Dad had shared for close to 50 years (of their 70 year marriage).

My sister and I sat with Dad and we talked about Mother, and about the decisions that had become necessary. We didn’t decide anything, really, just recognized some of the details that now needed attention. Meetings, paperwork, phone calls, all that was for later on. That morning we just sat together.
Mother was 90, and the last time I saw her was a little over a week ago. We stopped by on the way to Atlanta to visit our daughter and brought her a chocolate shake (her favorite) and I played a few songs on my dulcimer for her. In retrospect, I am so very glad that we made that stop on our way out of town.

A chocolate shake and a little music. Not a bad way to say goodbye, even though I didn’t know that’s what I was doing.

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A career working with teenagers on the fringes of society has made me both sensitive to and appreciative of the complexities of character and the struggles, inner and outer, that we all wrestle with in one form or another. My writing emphasizes character development over action, and, as a lifelong Southerner, the rhythms and cadence of the Southeastern United States influence both my spoken and written voice.

One thought on “The Chocolate Shake

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom’s passing, Jim. Thinking of you & your family. I’m glad you had a sweet memory for the last time you were with her on this side of the world. with care & sympathy, Jill


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