Happy Birthday Mom, (Wilma, Aunt Wilma, Nana)
This is the first birthday that I will miss with her. My mother passed away last year the day before Thanksgiving. She was 89 years old. She is missed. And not just by me. Wilma Faye Duvall Duvall Clark is missed by almost everyone who ever knew her. She
didn’t have a mean bone in her body.
My mother’s mother, Mary Tabitha Isabel Pigg Duvall, died when my mother was five years old. I think this was the defining event of her life. People who face early tragedy usually go one of two ways, resentment or a profound understanding. My mother had
sympathy for everyone, but she was no pushover. She could be tough if she needed to be, but she manifested a love for all other human beings and it was reflected back to her. Neither the loss of her beloved husband Virgil to the brutal stupidity of war, nor the death of my little brother Paul could diminish her ability to bring joy to those around her.
When I was a teenager I got the date of my mother’s birthday wrong. I thought it was the 28th of September instead of the 24th. It was a running joke over the years that I would have to ask what was the real date of her birthday. This 24th of September will be the first that I can’t ask her which day it really is, and then laugh about it. My mother was a
joyous person, and that is what I miss the most. But I truly believe that she is watching over me to keep joy in my life.
Perhaps the most amazing thing that has happened to me this summer in San Miguel de Allende is the friendships that I have made, especially at Cielito Lindo. Cielito Lindo is an
assisted living center a little ways outside of San Miguel. It is the place that I have been doing my “every Thursday” volunteering. On Thursdays I go there to sing, and it has been the most wonderful experience of my life. The residents and staff are my friends, people who share their joy with me and hopefully vice versa. It is there on those days that I feel my mother’s presence and the miracle that is shared human joy.
That is what I remember about my mother and why I have not had too much time to miss her, because she’s still here.
Go with God Mom.