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If I had just five minutes
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I think most people who have ever lost a loved one have thought or dreamed of having them back for just five minutes to catch up on your life and theirs.


When I reach the Promised Land, it will be interesting to find out just how much those who are in Heaven know about what’s going on here.


I miss my Mama. She was a guiding force in my life. If there was ever a year that I’d want those five minutes, it would be this one. There are lots of changes in my life. We have a new house and her only granddaughter is graduating high school and going off to college.


In my mind, I can see her face just beaming at the news.


Every year on the first weekend in May, I go to Monroe for the horse show. While there, I always stop by the cemetery where she, my dad and now, my brother, are buried.


I take the Biblical approach that they are not there. This is the resting place of their bodies and their souls are now in a better place. I go to make sure that their graves are being attended to and as an expression of love for all of them.


But as we mark the day we honor all mothers, I honor her memory. I also honor the many women who have been surrogates for me in the 13 years since Mama has been gone.


With the exception of my Aunt Oppie Lee, who also died several years ago, there was no one who was a single stand-in for my Mama. Instead, I have been blessed with the compassion of a number of women who have provided a hug, a touch, kind words or deep wisdom to me. There are some who have fed my body and others who have fed my soul.


There are some women in this world who just have that wonderful nurturing gift that is deeply ingrained in them. They seem to have the ability to look into the depths of one’s being and know how to meet a need.


I love those who hold your hand and peer into your eyes the entire time they talk to you. Some will wrap an arm around you and not let go until they’ve accomplished their mission of administering a moment of unexpected, but much needed care.


What’s interesting is that some of the ones who are dearest to me have never had a child of their own, but that maternal instinct is so evident.


It also is interesting how people approach death in different ways. There are some who become reclusive and in a sense, die themselves. I hurt for those people.


I have been blessed with friends who have been with me in the good times and the not-so-good. I think that is not just healthy, but is necessary for our survival.


Having someone offer the right word at the right moment is not coincidence. In fact, I think the good Lord puts messengers in our path to give us a good word and nudge us in the direction we need to go.


If that’s true, maybe through a surrogate I’ve had that five minutes with Mama after all.


Harris Blackwood is the author of “When Old Mowers Die.” His e-mail address is