I know you and you're here
In everyday we live
I know her and she's here
I can feel her when I sing
Hey Laura, where are you now
Are you far away from here
I don't think so
I think you're here
Taking our tears away
When you think of Laura laugh don't cry
I know she'd want it that way
"Think of Laura" by Christopher Cross
It's just a small granite piece I had etched years ago. It sits in the back yard next to a small statue of an angel I found at a local store. Some lilies sprout there from time to time making it a most beautiful sight.
The words on it read, "To Our Loved and Lost." Lord knows I've loved and lost my share of people in my life. My oldest brother passed away in 2012 - my father a few years before that. In 2006, my brother-in-law, Ron Bringol, succumbed to cancer. In 1996, Mama left us to join the two baby girls she lost and her sister Louise. Before that we lost Granny, PawPaw, and Granddaddy Rogers.
My family lost a little stillborn baby boy we named James Bryce. He died just a couple of weeks before Christmas. That was hard on us. He's the one I think about the most when I see that little angel looking up at me. I can't help but believe it's the little ones we lose that make the best angels.
Mother's Day is coming up soon. It's the time of year I think most about Mama – like the song says, I think most about Laura – and what she meant to me.
Right around the first Mother's Day without her, I wrote a few lines to a song I called, "I Don't Have a Mother for Mother's Day." It was predictably sad and went something like: I don't have a mother for mother's day/I don't have the woman who taught me to pray/Yet I still think of her on that day/When I don't have a mother for mother's day.
I wish Mama was around this Mother's Day so I could at least thank her for all those times we were sitting at the kitchen table and she thought I wasn't listening to her. I don't normally like to give advice to new parents, but if I did it would be to teach your children right from wrong – by example – and then for them to always find some time at the kitchen table to talk to them - whether or not you think they're listening or not. If it is like it was for me, it took me years to find out how wise my parents were.
But back to that little granite marker and the angle in my back yard, those two little things that mean so much.
As busy as we can get just living life, it's good to have something to look down at, or something that looks up at you, that reminds you to occasionally stop and consider what life is all about.
All our loved and lost are represented there in that one little granite monument watched over by my little angel, James Bryce, and all the other angels that entered and exited our lives - but never before leaving with us those the valuable lessons of life one should never forget.
And to my mother: Laura Nell Colvin Rogers, I want you to know not a day goes by that I don't think of you and, in my heart, I'll always have you for Mother's Day.