As a child, I loved to cuddle with my mom and listen to her stories. Some of my favorite memories took place on overcast days when I was about six. After school, I would race home and fly up the back steps. If the house were quiet, I knew little brothers were napping, and my pregnant mom would be resting too. She would often stretch out on the couch while curled up with a blanket. Tiptoeing into the living room, I walked to the sofa, kicked off my shoes, climbed under the covers, and snuggled with my mama. Smiling, she would wrap me close to her; some days, I would fall asleep while listening to her breathing while the rise and fall of her chest rocked me to sleep. Some days, she would read a story from a cherished book, and on others, she would tell me stories about her childhood days.
Every time I look at this picture of this smiling girl looking out across the mesa, sitting on an outcropping with her pony, Midge, and her pup, I return home. The stories of her childhood come flooding back, and I recall my own sweet childhood moments that took place with my mother. These cherished memories remind me that my mother has really never left. My mother will reside close by my side as her stories and memories stay safely tucked in my heart and in my thoughts.