Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Mother's Love

When I was a little girl, really little, in the very early sixties, it was quite fashionable in our neighborhood to have a rock garden, I have mentioned this before. My family used to take regular treks to the hills to collect the perfect rock specimens for my Mother's. She would make a day out of it, and take a picnic along. I used to love those roadside picnics, before every square inch of the world was fenced.
It was on one of these excursions that our extraordinary event happened. We had an old panel van. My father had driven it off of the road and parked in a field speckled with just the right selection of rocks. This was in the hills, verging on becoming the mountains, getting near Yosemite. My family had probably enjoyed a fried chicken picnic, because that's the only kind of picnic that I remember, and afterall, they were the best. With watermelon. Naturally.
All of us were collecting stones, and depositing them into the back of the van, my three brothers, Mom, Dad and me. The children must have begun to tire of the chore of it all, because two of us were in the van, and the littlest brother was toddling over to climb in. He lifted his little leg to step up just as the van started to roll away from him. I remember so well the image of him, standing there with his little leg in the air as we rolled away. My parents weren't particularly close, I don't even remember seeing my father, but my Mother... that was a different story. I saw her running across that grassy field for all she was worth. The van was picking up speed and soon enough I could see what my Mother saw. The car with two of her children in it was headed toward the edge of a cliff. My Mother ran like the wind, and managed to catch up and was scrambling into the open side door... her hands on the back of the seat, and one foot inside, just as my older brother (who must have been about ten) clambered to the front, jumped over the seat, and slammed on the brakes, quite suddenly, and the door frame slammed into the side of her head. I feel like she managed to scramble on inside before she collapsed. I'll have to check the rest of the details... she lay down in the bed of the van with a very frightened child on each arm, comforting us. I remember, I was one of them. Rodney had saved our lives, but we would have been alright no matter what, because our Mother certainly would have, or died trying.

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