Do you know how you can hear a song and you're immediately transported back to a time and place?
The song Flying Over Africa from the movie Out of Africa just came on as I was writing (it's in my Music to Write to playlist), and it took me back to Memphis 1985 when I had gallbladder surgery, and Mom came to stay with us to help take care of me since Joe was in doctoral school and working on his dissertation. Plus, you know…you just want your mom at times like that.
I'd spent a week in the hospital recuperating. Those were the days when they cut you from one end to the other to get your gallbladder out. Not pretty. And I remember Mom standing by my bedside in the hospital as I "worked through" coming off of some pretty heavy pain medication.
That next week at home she and I quickly grew bored of being in the house, and we headed to the theater. She loved watching movies as much as I do. I remember she drove, at least at first, because I didn't have my doctor's permission to drive yet. But she was driving way too slowly so I told her to pull over. We changed seats, getting so tickled, just laughing, and then I drove the rest of the way.
Once we were at the theater, we got a huge bucket of popcorn and our cokes and settled in for Out of Africa. The cinematography was breathtaking. That train slowly making its way across the plains in the opening scene, steam chugging from the engine. And the music. Mom and I were both swept away. Robert Redford coming on the screen helped that too, I'm sure.
What precious memories. I'm crying a little even now as I type this, but they're happy tears. I'm so thankful for a mom who loved me enough to come and stay with me for two weeks while I recuperated from surgery, and I love that we laughed so much throughout the years. I love that she was one of my best friends. And I love that she's waiting for me even now, praying me Home.
I've never been to Africa. She never got there either. But one day, on the New Earth, we're going. Together.
Mom and me in 1985 And again in 2007