I miss my mother. She was strong, fierce, and loving. Her love for her children was unconditional.
She and my father traveled into some tough places and conquered the world with love. I’m thinking of the township Soweto, at the height of the dangerous apartheid regime.
I saw a photo of my parents sitting in the back of a convertible being paraded through the township, surrounded by cheering people.
Who does that happen to?
My parents were from the Bronx. How did they end up there?
I’m thinking of my mother volunteering at the Edenvalle Hospital near the slum shanty township of Alexandria outside Johannesburg. The #1 injury treated at the hospital were glass cuts people got from walking barefoot.
She worked on a shoe drive and drove trunkfuls of shoes to the hospital parking lot, where they put them out in long rows for people to take.
My mother went at life full on. She drove all over England making brass rubbings of grave markers in churches. She traveled all over the world. And if someone showed up at her door in need of help it was freely given.
Part of the routine of a diplomatic life is entertaining. Dinners and cocktail parties. My mother made the powerful and the humble welcome to her table. Everyone was feted and fed, no matter their rank or station.
So, Mother’s Day. I miss my mom. She’s been gone so many years, but she’s still here in my heart.