A Mother's Day
Mandy Still Missed Her Mom
Mandy delighted feeling the wind blowing through her long auburn hair; the cool air had an icy kiss, as it gently touched her face. Dad always opened his window on every trip after we crossed the North Carolina line, she mused.
Mandy turned her eyes to the back of her dad's head, as she thought, I will always claim my place in the back seat, it feels safe and secure back here.
Magnolia Lair Farm
Her mother's seat was vacant, and vacant it would stay out of respect to her mama. Mandy lost her mama when she was twelve to Cancer, and the hollow look in her dad's eyes was still present. As far as she knew her dad had never looked at another woman, nor, had he dated one since her mama's death. She always wore the pearl ring her mother gave her of Great-Grandmother Ford's--- is passed down in the family for the first-born.
Lost in thought, Mandy barely noticed as the beautiful mountain scenery whizzed by her window. She was thinking of her Mimi and Gramps O'Brien, whom she and her dad were driving to see. Her grandparents owned a huge farm with over 30,000 acres of some of the best soil in the Carolina's. Where they grew crops for commercial buyers, and private crops to share with others. Mandy felt truly at home on her grandparents’ farm, also, her mama had loved it here, and she could not wait to find out how Mimi was feeling,
Her Mimi exposed herself to ungodly weather conditions, no matter what they were---rain, snow, storms, floods and in the heat of the summer; to help other people---on the Appalachian Trail. People of the mountains as Mimi called them, shared the same blood as they did from the old country; Scotland.
Mandy, as all her family and friends called her, (only the teachers and professors called her Amanda) and, she had graduated from college, a month ago. Unfortunately, Mimi and Gramps were not there in person because of illness, But dad had made a special DVD for them of the happy event. Dad is so kind she thought.
Everyone told Mandy she was a younger version of Mimi, and Gramps agreed. Her Mimi had blue eyes the shade of a calm sea and long auburn hair, highlighted with streaks of white, now. Mimi's face was still unlined, she said it was because she always wore her big straw hat outside, and used Noxzema on her face and body. This is the only lotion Mandy used because she wanted to look just like Mimi. Mimi wore her long hair up, and Mandy wore it down in one long braid, Both stood 5'6" tall, but they were short compared to her dad and Gramps.
She leaned forward and looked into the mirror to check out how her dad was doing---and she could not believe she saw a smile playing his lips, as if he was enjoying thoughts of his own. Maybe, he is just happy to Gramps and Mimi's once again.
Before Mandy knew it, their car was slowing down to turn in the mountain road to the "Magnolia Lair Farm."
Mandy was out of school now, and she had a special surprise for Mimi, on Mother's Day, and she could not wait to give it to her. But, she would wait, and it would be painful to do so, as being patient was not one of her virtues.
Mandy's memories of years past inundated her present attention, until the chilled air brought her back to the present. It was cooler now as the car rounded the curve drive. The water on the Angel Fountain had ice in it. Little shivers floated in the tiny waves of the water falling from the huge bowl the Angel held. Yes, she was finally home again.
She was barely out of the back seat when Mimi grabbed her and hugged the daylights out of her, and kissed her all over her face. This is one of the perks of having such great grandparents, she smiled, showing her dimples. Gramps always had to kiss her on each cheek, before hugging her breathlessly. She watched as her dad bent over and picked Mimi up off the ground just a few inches, as he didn't want to hurt her. Then turned with his arm still around his mother, and hugged his father.
Gramps said, "Donnan, my son you are looking better." Her dad was known as Don by his friends back in their hometown. But no one dared call him by any name but Donnan, in front of his father. His full name was Irvine Donnan O'Brien III, and her Gramps was Irvine Donnan O'Brien II, it was a very noble name.
Mandy knew her Mimi's name was DeVena Rhonda, which meant beloved wise ruler, and the surname O'Brien meant high and noble. However, all Mimi's friends called her Darling---because that is all anyone ever heard Gramps say. He would tell you in his soft Scottish accent---she will always be my Darling. Mandy's dad told her this years ago, and he said the only time his dad used her front name as he called it---was when they married.
The four of them with their arms around each other walked into the huge three-storied farm- house, they called home. This house is so full of love, she reflected, but maybe I can fill it more on Mother's Day.
The next day was Mother's Day, and after church the O'Brien Family sat at the long dining table, built for 30 people to dine, eons ago. Now, there were four of the O'Briens, happily smiling, eating and talking.
Mimi looked beautiful in her new pearls that her darling husband gave her with matching earrings. He always had great taste as she rubbed them while smiling at him. He winked at her and this was the cherry to a sundae of a day.
After everyone had finished eating and was drinking coffee, Mandy said, "Happy Mother’s Day, Mimi---I know dad always gives his gift first, but you can open it after you've heard and received mine. Dad, I don't mean to act pushy." she added. Donnan gave his daughter a dimpled smile and laughed the happiest laugh she had heard in a long time. Mimi and Gramps smiled at each other, and motion for Mandy to continue.
"Mimi, you and Gramps may not like what I am about to say ----so, please tell me if you do not like it. Well, here goes my surprise. I have in this envelope tickets for you, Mimi and Gramps to go on a cruise that will take you to Scotland. This trip is completely paid for, and when you dock--a limo will take you to the Highlands, where all your relatives will be waiting to greet you both." Mandy finished with a dimpled smile. By this time Mimi and Gramps had tears in their eyes, and Mandy started crying too because she thought she had done something wrong. When this happened they all started laughing at themselves, and each other.
"Mimi and Gramps, there is a second part of the Mother's Day Surprise Gift---I want to move here if you approve---to live forever. I want to learn everything I can, so I can run the farm, and you can enjoy life and do what you want," Now, her dad had tears in his eyes, suddenly, he reached for Mandy, and kissed her tears away, like he did when she was still a baby.
The doorbell rang , and Mandy went to answer it. There standing on the porch was a beautiful woman, who ask for Donnan the third, and she smiled at Mandy.
Mandy stepped back and motioned for her to enter , and she followed her into the dining room. "Dad, you have a visitor."
Mandy's dad stood up and rushed to meet the woman, and took her hand and kissed it. Mandy felt numb, what in the world she barely got the thought out--when her dad put his arm around the woman drawing her into a circle with his parents, and happily stated. "Everyone, please meet Charlotte Kingsford." Then Donnan introduced everyone to Charlotte.
Mandy's Dad was Engaged
Donnan said proudly," Mother half of my gift to you this year -----and the better half is----we're engaged."
Before the last word settle on Mandy's brain-- Mimi was hugging this new person who came to take her dad away. Then, her Gramps shook her hand, and welcomed her to the family. Mandy said silently, "Oh, please Mother if you can hear my thoughts in Heaven, please give me a sign, so I will know it is fine with you about dad and this woman."
Mandy hears her dad's voice, and turned towards him and smiled. "Charlotte, this is my beautiful daughter, Amanda, and we call her Mandy. Charlotte walked over to the corner where Mandy had backed into.
Mandy puts her hand out, and Charlotte took it, then gently pulled her close and said, "I am happy about it, my Butterfly." Mandy and Charlotte both pulled back at the same time, and stared into each other's eyes with a shocked look. "What did you call me?" Mandy asked with a stunned look.
Charlotte had the same look. "I don't know where those words came from, does it make any sense to you?" she whispered. "Yes it does---that is what my mother called me." Mandy whispered back to Charlotte.
"Mimi's gifted with a Double Mother's Day Surprise." Mandy stated as everyone hugged and kissed, and Charlotte showed off her engagement ring.
Thank you, mother, was Mandy's private message to her mom . And, now we are five O'Briens, she thought---maybe one day six.
What a Great Day of Surprises
Charlotte came home to find Mandy and a young man standing in the living room, with big smiles on their faces.
"Oh, Charlotte, I hope we did not scare you, I called Daddy, and he said for us to come on in, and he would be home shortly, I hope that is copacetic with you."
"Of course it is, and do sit down and let me serve you some refreshments," Charlotte said in a motherly way, and smiled her brightest smile at them both.
Just then Donnan O'Brien walked into the living room, with a smile on his face, letting Mandy know that he was happy to see her. Then, before anything else he stopped to kiss his wife fully on her waiting lips.
"Well, Dad, I wanted to introduce you and Charlotte to Richard, whom I have dated for over a year, now. And, we're engaged, with your consent of course, Dad." Mandy smiled and put her hand out to show everyone her beautiful two carat diamond ring with rubies surrounding the large diamond, on a platinum setting.
Her father stepped forward and shook hands with Richard, and said, "Now, even though I give my consent for you to marry my daughter--does not mean I am giving her away in no shape or form."
"I understand Sir." Richard replied. Then they all hugged.
Charlotte served everyone wine, but herself, and she had lemon water. No one notices until she raised her glass for the toast to the newly engaged.
"Darling, where is your wine?" Donnan asked his wife.
"Oh, don't worry about me, dear; I will be drinking wine again in about nine months."
And every stood still with their glasses suspended in the air, and then the loudest shout came from Donnan, then Mandy. Charlotte and Mandy started crying with happiness.
It was truly a great day of surprises. And as the sun was setting on this happy day, everyone gathered around the kitchen table, laughing and talking.
The next day Mandy gave Charlotte a gift for the baby---it was a baby picture frame and it was so darling it was the first gift for the nursery. What a wonderful Mother's Day surprise next year when the baby arrives.
Daddy, is the Easter Bunny in Heaven with Mommy?
- Daddy, Is the Easter Bunny in Heaven with Mommy?
A poem about a single father and his daughter.
© 2011 Barbara Purvis Hunter