|We had known Clinton for a few years. My son shared classes with him at High School and every so often he would come to our house to visit. Clinton picked up the habit of calling me "mom" and I enjoyed being thought of so highly. Everything for Clinton was accelerated. He had a sparkle in his eyes, abundant energy and an almost annoying way of getting attention. I knew my son liked Clinton but often he would complain how demanding and insistent Clinton could be at times. Nevertheless I knew deep down Clinton was an adolescent who longed for the attention of both parents and yet still struggled with his being divorced and remarried. Clinton lived with his mother and step-father whom he had an abvious dislike. Whenever he would be at our house he seemed happy and content and seldom wanted to go home. I never met Clinton's parents but on one occasion I did talk to his step-father. That was an unpleasant experience and I understood Clinton's feelings towards the man more clearly. His mother eventually divorced and moved a few miles out of our area. Clinton who had graduated from High School had gone to live with his father.|
A few months had passed since we had seen Clinton until one day while my daughter was home alone he came knocking at our door in the middle of the afternoon. As soon as my daughter invited him in Clinton sobbing uncontrolibly threw himself at her blurting something about a car accident and his mother being dead. My daughter after calming him down some, learned that Clinton's mother had been forced out of the road by unknown driver, and had crashed her automible in a fatal accident.
A few days after the unexpected death of Clinton's mother we went to the funeral to pay Clinton and his family our respects. There is nothing I can say to describe the feeling of sadness we experienced over Clinton's loss. The Funeral home was packed with standing room only. I had never met this lady and felt cheated of not having had the opportunity to let her know how much I appreciated and loved Clinton like a son. Because the crash had been so severe the family had chosen a closed casket service. There were numerous wreath's and flower arrangements and several pictures displayed the lovely face of a mature but yet fairly young woman. The service was informal and seemed pretty much the usual until Clinton and his sister stood up to say their last good by to their mother. We heard the music start in the background and then they began singing a popular tune together. It was the first time ever I had heard secular music played at a funeral and I was deeply moved by the words. Those children lifted their voices to express the love for a woman who had nurtured and cared for them and had suddenly and cruelly been cut off from their lives forever. I admired the courage these two young people displayed, I cried for their loss, I wished to reach out and take away the pain and the sadness but I knew the unreachable grip of death. The room was eerily silent and only at times muffled sobs could faintly be heard. I had never in my life cried for the loss of someone I never met but here was a person who had been a mother like me and I couldnt help but to feel the impact of her life on mine.
Years have passed since The Funeral of Clinton's mother. He has married and now lives out of our State. Whenever he is in town he comes to visit and he continues to call me "mom". I never told Clinton how much his experience became a part of the memories I will carry with me throughout my life. However I did tell Clinton that he can always count on me as he would have his own mother. For in the song dedicated to his mother's memory it says that "Love takes the pain and turns it all in the beauty that remains".