By Russ Harriger
Restricting Mother’s Day to a single day is as impossible as asking a mother which is her favorite child. Therefore these thoughts cannot be confined to a date imposed on the world by the floral or greeting card industry.
A good foundation is strong and built upon solid rock.
When I was a small boy, there was this rock. The rock was huge and it was always there. My friends and I would crawl to the top of the rock, and this simple conquest alone was always an amazing feat. When on top of the rock, we felt invincible.
Time passed as it always seems to do and I grew taller. The rock was easier to climb until it did not seem to be a challenge at all. We would move on to something bigger to challenge us. We changed, the rock did not.
It sat on the corner of my father’s property line, perched over the neighborhood Little League field. The rock became a place to sit and watch a baseball game. The rock became a place to escape where you could sit and dream or just imagine.
This imagination rock. From here I could fly a starship or fight pirates, or any journey that I could come up with in my mind could be launched from the rock.
As the calendars rolled by, this huge rock of my childhood became a place just to sit on the solitude of a summer day. It became a place to run to get away from the pressures of growing up, laugh and steal a kiss from a young girl who would occasionally share the rock with me.
I moved away and grew to be a man away from the rock, but I wont forget the lessons that I learned when I think of it:
- Your imagination can take you anywhere you can dream of, you just need a launching point.
- Be a rock to others. Be constant and steady; while others and things may change, be like the rock.
- Listen to others. The rock listened to my dreams and caught many adolescent tears and watched me grow.
- Weather the storm. Sunny days, winter and rain – the rock saw it all.
As I was writing this reflection, I realized that I have had several “rocks” in my life. The actual rock that still maintains its spot and declarant of my mother’s property line – my beautiful wife Joyce of 35 years. (She was not the one who I stole the kiss from at the rock). She is the rock to me and our children.
And my mother Hazel Harriger. Mom always fed my imagination and encouraged us each time we had ideas. If she thought they were bad ideas, she never let on. Not only is she the rock of my life and our family, but she has made the same impression on so many in her church and in the community. From 4H to Sunday School, Cub Scouts, Band parents, Church Elder, Church Deacon, Kitchen committee. The list is too long to remember but this rock has made so many feel strong for so long. She is the first to volunteer and always finds the good in the worst of situations.
She taught me to grow and gave me the freedom to leave when it became my time to fly.
So this has been my nonconforming Mother’s Day tribute. I hope that everyone has a rock in their life that can be a safe place to call their own or hold dear in their memories.
Love you, Mom.
Russ Harriger is an artist, poet and sometime writer living in South Carolina. He adores his wife Joyce of 35 years, treasures his two sons and has three grandchildren, his “lucky charms”.