97: Shelter in a Storm

97: Shelter in a Storm

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Best Mom Ever!

Shelter in a Storm

My mother had a slender, small body, but a large heart — a heart so large that everybody’s joys found welcome in it, and hospitable accommodation.

~Mark Twain

The rain started as I got into the car. The weather reflected the storm of emotions I felt. Three days earlier I had buried my mother. Now, as I prepared to go home, I knew I’d never return to this house again and find a parent waiting for me.

I saw the little family out of the corner of my eye through the haze of tears and a foggy window. The pungent aroma of funeral flowers was my only company, and they took up every seat. Steady traffic required that I wait, so I watched them make their way up the street in the pouring rain.

As they crossed the street, the tiny, young mother held one of the babies close to her, trying unsuccessfully to shield her from the rain. The father carried the other on his back. Rivulets of water running through his dreadlocks dripped into the face of the baby who held tightly to his neck.

I looked around the car as they passed in front of me. There was no room — flowers and knick-knacks from my mother’s life filled every space in my car. Then I saw my mom’s leopard print umbrella. I blew the horn, beckoning the father to come. His look of hope said he thought he had a ride.

A quick glance in the car revealed that my invitation was not to offer him a ride.

“Would you take this umbrella, please?” I asked.

“Oh, yes ma’am,” he said softly. “Thank you.” Then he hurried back to his waiting family.

The young mother quickly gathered her babies under the shelter of my mom’s umbrella. For them the rain had stopped. They continued on their way with a souvenir of my mother’s doing what it had always done for me, providing a cover of love.

~Trudie Nash

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