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Lind: Poem shared between mother and daughter from decades ago is still cherished today

Hard though it may be to believe, Judy Thompsen, age 16 at the time, had put off doing her homework - "as usual," she writes. So, as usual, she turned to her mother, Ruth Carlson, for help, pleading, "Mom, I need a poem for my English scrapbook b...

Hard though it may be to believe, Judy Thompsen, age 16 at the time, had put off doing her homework – “as usual,” she writes.
So, as usual, she turned to her mother, Ruth Carlson, for help, pleading, “Mom, I need a poem for my English scrapbook by tomorrow!”
“Because she knew how to be the mom and not just another friend,” Judy, then of rural Halstad, Minn., and now of Fargo, writes, “Her usual response would have been, ‘Well, what you going to do about that?’ But that time, she bailed me out. When I went to bed that night, I had my poem.
“Now that I’m 62 years of age and Mom (now of Ada, Minn.) is 87, the memories and the poem grow sweeter every year.”
So, here’s what Ruth composed for her daughter that night:

“You have a little girl” – was the first I knew that a mother-daughter bond could already be so strong, and it amazes me always for it grew with the years.
The baby years so swiftly pass, one wonders where – but I reflect today upon the things we now do and share.
The quiet walks we have taken, hardly saying a word, yet such close companionship – I suppose some would think we’re bored!
The beauty we have seen in the little things, the spider web in the barn – we had to lie flat, just so, to see how the sun’s rays could enhance its delicate pattern, the weave to show;
The mourning dove on her nest in the old spruce tree, how we almost felt her watchful eyes on us – it was just chance that we should see.
Watching ants and their busyness about their home – other small creatures – lambs, calves and kittens – of these you’ve had many to tame. We’ve learned they really do have different personalities, they are not at all the same!
Our hike in the fall – on the dry river bed, finding the prettiest pink flowers and native shrubbery – the brightest red!
Our winter walks – examining the work the beavers had done, listening to the mysterious chirp of some creatures in their twig- and-snow covered home.
The trees, iced with snow, entwined with a frost covered cucumber vine, like a garland, we thrilled to nature’s show!
We’ve found companionship while washing dishes, sang together rhymes from kindergarten, anthems from Bach, sometimes harmony, sometimes discord, as we find both when we share ideas in “just plain talk.”
I’m grateful for the faith in God we share, and though I should teach, I’ve learned many a lesson from you, dear one, of the great, yet simple life of prayer.
What joy to see you and your brother have for each other, loyalty and admiration. And if it didn’t make me so happy, I supposed I’d be jealous of your love for Dad, nothing short of adoration.
You’re not “my pal,” dear Judy, you’re not “my chum;” you’re MY GIRL, and I’m so glad to be – your mom.

And now, years later, Judy says to her mother, “Thank you for all the walking and talking – and for knowing how to be my mom.”
If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com

Opinion by Bob Lind
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