Tag Archives: 50th Reunion from Dillard University

Dillard University Reunion Class of 1958

Mother’s Day with Mom

This past Mother’s Day weekend, I met up with my mother in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was there to celebrate with her Dillard University graduating class, their 50th Reunion. It is a big deal to the University as it may be at other universities as well. And it was special to classmates. You see, their Dillard University class studied and lived and grew as a community. They were part of each others’ lives. Some had matriculated from as far back as grade school together. It was very special to me too, for different reasons.

Willie Dempsey sang at mom & dad's wedding A face I seem to know since forever

My mom introduced me to the man who sang at her and daddy’s wedding. She introduced me to a lady who was stunned by how much I look like my daddy. And Aromenta’s familiar face that was part of my growing up years.

I watched my mom enjoy herself. And I paid attention to her appreciation for the life she lived and how she lived it. Even though they didn’t keep in touch regularly, these friends seemed to delight in their time togetherr. Mom introduced me to one man, and I moved to shake his hand. He held out his arms and said, “Mackie’s daughter? I have to hug you.” People made it a point to tell me how highly they thought of my dad. There’s so much I took away from the two days that I spent with mom and her classmates, so much feeling and appreciating.

It seems I watch my mom a lot more closely since my dad died. And, I watched her spend time with her friends, talking and catching up before they go their separate ways. She and they seemed to take full advantage of the time that they had. No matter how often I watch them spend time with their friends, the fundamental lessons I take from them are lived out before my eyes. And my mom reinforced them once again:

  1. First, carry on
  2. Second, cherish my history
  3. Third, never underestimate the power of friendship

Helen & Roxy

Appreciating Where I’m From

My mom, Helen, is on the left
and her dear friend Roxy on the right.
They’re smiling together
posing for the photo,
chatting,
reveling in the moment.

I shot the picture
remembering Roxy dancing
in my parents’ bedroom on Annette Street.
She’d come by to see our new baby;
probably it was my brother Damon.

I remember how I was enthralled by her dancing.
I’d managed to stay in the room
as the grown-ups chatted.
Her energy filled the room
the hem of her mini skirt shimmied
her necklace almost touching it
swaying as she and my mom laughed
and shared girl talk and friendship.

Time has passed and geography separates them.
My daddy always nearby
is now passed away almost seven months.
What I see watching mom and her friends,
their expressions as they talk together
the bonds forged in their youth
is only more seasoned, a given,
unmoved by the distance between them.

It was a lovely day, warm with a nice breeze
blowing silently through the majestic oaks,
clear enough for my cameras to
capture what I wanted to keep.
My dad almost made it
but my mom’s still here to celebrate it.
In me is enough of both of them
to attend, appreciate and enjoy
the friendships they forged
and be back in time for work on Monday.
I was able to send pictures
and details to my family
who couldn’t be in attendance.
In all of this I am thankful.

And I continue.
Life is good with all that’s gone from me.
I’m grateful for all I have
and events and time and stuff left to do.
Whatever will be my future,
at these events, I glimpse insights of
parts and people that impacted my parents
who in turn shaped me.
I like knowing.

© 2008 by Shari Lynne Smothers