Karen Jordan

Summertime Memories

Why do some seasons remind us of certain people? Each summer, I can’t help but think of my mother. Although she’s been gone for almost eight years now, Mother still comes to mind during the summer months, especially on her birthday and my parents’ wedding anniversary, which falls on my birthday.

Vacations. I also remember Mother as we plan our summer vacations every year. In fact, we spent all of our family vacations for years traveling from Arkansas to Southeast Texas to celebrate our birthdays and spend time near Galveston with Mother and my Texas family.

Holidays. Not many special events—like Mothers’ Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas—go by without fond memories of my mother. Sometimes those thoughts come like a gentle wind, and other times they still surprise me like a Texas thunderstorm.

Very few holidays passed in my life without mother being involved in some way. And even though we lived hundreds of miles away from her for over two decades, she was always intimately involved in my family’s life until her untimely death a few years ago.

Connections. Mother kept our family connected, when we moved away with our families. Even when we were annoyed by her pressure to share holidays, she remained a unifying force in our family. She kept us up-to-date with family news, and I miss that connection now.

Since Mother’s death, I do not take the time to regularly visit my extended family. But we still stay in touch by phone, e-mail, and Internet social networks now.  I think Mother would be pleased with our Facebooks.

Roots. Memories of Mother continue to connect us all to our Texas roots and family. One summer, Mother talked our entire family into renting a beach cabin together. My husband, Dan, and I endured six nights, sleeping in a steamy, hot beach cabin loft with cigarette smoke drifting upstairs, irritating our allergies, and three teenagers giggling and arguing. The trip convinced us all to resist any more of mother’s vacation ideas that included the whole family under one roof.

I think even Mother agreed with that decision!

Last summer, I journeyed back to Texas with my daughter, Tara, and her two youngest children for a special family celebration. During the trip, Tara and I laughed and cried about some of our Texas memories. And as we endured the triple-digit temperature and 100% humidity, the stories of our dreadful beach vacation brought great memories about the impact my mother had on our lives.

Does the summertime remind you of certain people, places, or events? Write one of those stories today!

Karen Jordan writes creative nonfiction about her faith, family, and writing. She also encourages others to “tell the stories that matter most” in her writing workshops, her blog, BLESSED Legacy Stories  and her website (www.karenjordan.net).

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