Archives for posts with tag: mothers

We are in Virginia visiting Sammie. It is so good to see her. I am so proud of her!

Last night we went to a restaurant for dinner. We got to reminiscing about our old home. Sammie has few memories of the house, but I remember it with nostalgia. Luke did not want to leave that house. (He was 5.) He said his sister was more fun in the old house.

We talked about the time Sammie squirted glue all over the new kitchen floor and her dad’s tools…. About the time Luke got into a can of paint and painted a design on the floor of Wes’s shop, then used the wall to clean off his hands….about the time Sammie scared her dad when he was up on the roof painting, making him almost fall off…. About living in the new house and the old house and building and trying to carry on a normal life all at once…. About the apple trees…. About the little house wes built for the kids to play in….

All that caused me to remember other things about that house. One time Luke wanted to go see his dad in the side yard. Instead of walking over to him, he decided to walk around the hedge. This took him extremely close to the very busy road that we lived on and he was only 3 or 4. I remember an extreme fear. Perhaps it is this instinct a mother has to protect her children that causes such fear and such intense pain if she is unable to keep a child safe.

The summer do 1988 was very dry. We went for what seems like months without rain. It was hot, too. We played outside a lot, but mostly tried to stay cool in front of the fan (We had no air conditioning.) reading books. I’ll never forget the day it finally rained. We had gone to get ice cream cones after playing at the park in Uniontown. It started raining on our way home. By the time we got there, it was pouring. The kids and I started laughing, running all over the yard, and putting toys in the garage so they wouldn’t get ruined. It was fun, and the rain felt good!

All this reminiscing made me dream about Luke last night. It has been a long time since I remember a dream about Luke. It was good. Sometimes when I dream about him, it almost feels like I got to spend time with him. The only problem is waking up. In my dream Luke was about 12 or so, he had plans to build a top for the ping pong table and surprise his dad. He was measuring and planning and talking about how happy Wes would be. He said this would make it the best spring ever. The details of this dream are already fading. That’s the other problem with dreams, they never stay in the memory long enough.

I miss my little family. I miss my little kids. Mostly, I miss Luke.

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imageFlipping through the TV channels the other evening, we came upon “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” I felt the need to stop and watch for a few minutes. This was Luke’s show. Every time I see or hear someone mention the ninja turtles, I hear his sweet little boy voice singing:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Turtles in a hap shell
Turtle power!
This last line would be yelled, and yes, I know it’s supposed to be “Turtles in a half shell,” but he was only 4 and this is how he heard it.

We went as a family to see all three movies. Luke was so excited! I think their first movie was the first movie we took him to see. He was quiet through the entire thing because he was mesmerized. His only disappointment was that Michelangelo’s voice was a different actor.

He had many, many action figures of both good guys and bad guys, and each Christmas, this number would go up along with the latest accessories. We still have boxes of these in the basement.

At the time I not only knew all their names, I knew what color they wore and what weapon each used. I also knew the names of all the bad guys and the ancillary good guys. How could I not? This is what mothers do when their kids love something. Besides, he talked about them a lot!

Luke’s favorite was Michelangelo. I think this was because he identified with his smart alec nature.

Sammie used to get Luke to play Barbies with her by promising to play Ninja Turtles with him. Somehow, she always managed to get mad at him and not want to play anymore as soon as he got the guys out.

Luke’s bedroom is right above the living room, and when we first moved into our house, it had a wooden floor. He would play with his turtles and we would hear all the upstairs action as we attempted to watch TV or read. It wasn’t long before his room was carpeted.

Luke had t-shirts, pajamas, and birthday cakes with his heroes on them. His four year old birthday party had a ninja turtle theme. He and all the other kids thought this was great.

In 2011 we took four miniature ninja turtles to Luke’s grave for Christmas. I like to think this made him smile. Unfortunately, we had them still sitting on the dining room table when a workman came into our house fix our home security system. They disappeared. (And, yes, I see the irony.) Why? They had no real value to anyone but us.

So, next time you see or hear about the Ninja Turtles, think of a little boy who loved them that grew to be a greater hero than any of them.