Mama, Where Are You?

I have learned many facts about family and friends.  I’ve memorized phone numbers, addresses, and special dates.  I also recall all the subjects in school, news articles, films and travels to many places.  All have left impressions and memories.  None compares with my memories of Mama. 

As a teacher, at the beginning of each school year, I had to learn the names of 150 students.  Most of those five thousand have passed from my memory with few exceptions—like a train in the night.

In elementary school we had to memorize the states and their capitals, the planets in their order in the solar system.  Also we had to put to memory the presidents of the United States in their order.

We were taught tricks like using mnemonic techniques and memorized sentences where the first letter of each word was exactly like the first letter of the word we wanted to memorize.

My memories of Mama are different.  There is no gimmick, no trick to make me remember her.  She flashes by in many forms.   Sometimes, it is a mirage, sometimes it is a sound and sometimes I feel her touch my arm and I get goose pimples.

I wonder where you are and what you are doing today.  Are you looking down and watching over us?

Are you speaking to Her/Him and reminding of the effort you put in to see that we were raised as good Jews and more important, good people.

Every once in a while, I make believe you are here.  I look at your picture and close my eyes.  It is like a dream while being awake.  All of you are there and it is real, until my eyes open and you are not there.   

Mama, when I next really see you, will you be that young vibrant woman or that sick old lady?