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She met him at the Beacon Theatre in New York City; at the Saturday matinee. He was tall, dark and handsome. She was 18 years old; an irish beauty with long, auburn hair and hazel eyes. He was as debonair as Cary Grant with a voice like Frank Sinatra; with his chivalrous ways, he stole her heart. That was the beginning of my parents’ love affair that lasted a lifetime.

My mama’s birthday was yesterday. She would have been 86 years old. She passed away this past June. For the past six years dementia robbed her of her life; the forgetfulness started slowly, but eventually took over.

The last time I visited my mama I lifted her soft hands, and gently wrapped my fingers into hers. “Remember Mama when you brushed my hair into a pony tail every day before school, and when you tucked me in at night, you always pulled the blankets up to my chin, and reminded me to say my prayers.” She smiled at me, but when I looked into her hollow eyes, I knew she didn’t know who I was and she did not remember.

For many people the holidays can arouse unhappy feelings in the heart, but I am not sad; I have all the cherished memories of grand conversations I had with my mama. I believe she is with my daddy in a better place; a place where she can remember the joy of Christmas.

Happy Birthday Mama!

My mama and daddy at their wedding.

My mama and Daddy on their wedding day.