Her children stand and bless her. (Proverbs 31:28 NLT)

Rain reminds me of my mother. She loved rain. I guess I got that from her. She was enthusiastic about most everything that grew, or that was a part of the natural world. I didn't realize until she was gone how much she knew about all kinds of flowers and trees. I think she could identify almost any tree or flower. She would remark on the texture of the bark on trees or on the amount of shade a certain type of tree provided. She knew how long trees lived — she warned us not to plant a tree that didn't have a long life span. She knew the growing conditions of an astonishing number of flowers. Even today, my mother's comments about plants continually pop into my mind when I go to the nursery — what will grow in what type of soil, whether it likes sun or shade. I usually leave the nursery with more than I can get planted, because the sound of her enthusiastic voice is in my ear.

Like a lot of people in Texas, mother used hyperbole freely. In the mornings she would say, "Isn't it a glorious day?" She liked to say things were glorious. When she ate something she liked, you could count on her to say, "That's the best ____ I ever ate!"

Fortunately for me, I "caught" her enthusiasm for living in the world day to day. As a result, I almost always wake up in the morning full of anticipation. I listen to the doves cooing for a few minutes, a sound that makes me happy (as does the sound of a train at night). I usually hurry out to the kitchen to see what has happened to the trees and flowers overnight ... what the light is like ... and which birds are on the feeder.

My mother didn't like to shop. Once in a while she would take all of her daughters on a shopping spree together, but I think it was her way of trying to get it over with as quickly as possible. I don't remember her looking at things to buy for herself (like I do when my daughter and I shop together), though I have many memories of her finding things on the racks and bringing them for me to see. She seemed more interested in talking to the sales ladies than shopping. She knew some of those ladies by name, and they remembered her. She always took us to Litchinsteins, "the" department store in Corpus Christi at the time. One of the sales ladies, who looked rather snooty to me, always recognized her and greeted her like a friend. They would chat the entire time my sisters and I shopped.

Mom hated TV, and wouldn't allow one in the house until I was twelve. However, as she got older, she got a lot of pleasure out of watching the nature shows after she had worked in her yard all day. I believe she had a happy life after her six children were all grown and gone and she was living alone. A large part of her joy was because she could work in her yard and visit with those who lived nearby or walked by.

Her habit of talking to everyone as if they were a friend may have been why she was attacked in her home. A man crawled in her bedroom window. When she went into her bedroom he attacked her, leaving horrific bruises on her arms. He had brought cord to tie her up and intended to harm her further, no doubt, but she began to pray in a loud voice for the Lord to forgive him. He left.

"Isn't it a glorious day?"
When Mother was dying, she was very weak and could barely move or speak. However, she lifted her hand and pointed to the ceiling and said again and again what sounded to me like, "Up, up!" I asked her if she meant Heaven, and there was a twinkle in her eye that I knew meant yes.

I know when she got there she said, "Isn't this glorious?"

And now, as the years go by, when it rains, I think of my mother, and it's a glorious day.