Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Friday, December 31, 2021

12/31/21 RMB A Mother’s Light


12/31/21 RMB  A Mother’s Light


Dear Rita Mae Brown,

New Year’s Eve thoughts…The last two months have felt like two years. Recent turmoil regarding health, home repairs, jobs, family, oh yeah and the ongoing pandemic, have snowballed. Sometimes if feels like we are grasping at straws just to hold on to some semblance of sanity, some normality.

The author Mike Dooley surmises not all thoughts are equal, that the positive outweighs the negative by ten thousand-fold. I believe it. Those straws we are grasping at, they are golden, strong, everlasting straws of hope and light.


The summer I turned nine, my father introduced us to a pretty lady with short reddish-brown hair that drove a cool green Nova. She was bright and lively. She was a kid at heart and loved to play games, a rare adult who still relished having fun. She became our stepmother and brought with her a new brother and sister into our family. Ensuing evenings were spent drinking Alabama sweet tea and playing raucous games of Parcheesi, Yahtzee, and so on.

Patricia “Pat” Gulick taught elementary school much of her life, often tutoring some kids after hours, collecting clothes for those in need and helping the less fortunate any way she could.

Some months shy of fifty years later, she remains young at heart. She still loves games and watching her Alabama Roll Tide College Football games with her brother.

The challenges she faces now are big. And when she said come visit me now, we did. From California we flew to spend a few days with the lady who helped raise us, played games with us and shared her life with us.

Her love of music and art live on in our memories and belongings as we enjoy all that she created and gave to us.  

On one of those few precious mornings with her, I emerged from the spare room to her sing song voice “Good mooooorning”.

She visited with us every day to tell stories and share her history. Those words, those moments, and the time we still have with her, they are loaded with those golden straws of light, laughter and love.

Seizing the light,


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