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A pillow from mom 

Brenda Pollard, Durham

This pillow was given to me and my twin sister. I have a twin sister who's in Raleigh, and I have an older sister. She's in Johnson County and lives with my mother. Tragically, about five years ago, my older sister was living next door to my mom in a house trailer and a storm--was it Fran? I don't know, we've had so many storms--the trailer was just devastated by the storm, and she had no option but to move in with my mom. And now the option is "I love it here. I think I'm home."

And that's a beautiful thing with my mom and her. And my nephew was with them, so it was three generations in the home that I grew up in. But he's moved out now. He's 27. But that's a whole other story.

Anyway, I'm not the only one with one of these pillows. So when I put it on the bed I can see it every morning and I can see it every night. And it just tells me that nobody else loves you like your mom does. And mother does that. She always thinks through what she's chosen for you. She gave me an angel pin. She's like that. I think mothers are guardian angels. I do believe in God and I believe that we have no control of who our family is, and God selects that.

When I think of someone that I admire the most, it is my mom, because she lost her husband to a heart attack. He was in his 50s and she was in her late 40s and she had four daughters to raise. And she just pulled herself together and continued on.

And then three years later, in '76, she lost her child. Her baby. So I asked her, I said, "Mother, tell me if you can, what hurts the most? Losing your husband, your partner, your lifelong partner, or losing your child?" At that point in time I had no idea, I mean I was not married ... so I just wanted to hear her answer. And she really didn't hesitate. She said, "My daughter." And I said, "Why?" Because I was very young, I was in my early 20s, and losing my father was just devastating.

My sister, it was a different relationship. But again, total, total loss. Mother said, "You know, the reason it hurts the most is it's a part of you. It's just a part of you that can't come back."

And she also said that she couldn't understand why she was not selected. Because she had lived her life. She was in her mid-50s, and why God would take someone that was 19, who had all their life ahead of them. And so she again collected herself, and she moved on with life. And so every Christmas she finds something that she wants her daughters to have. With the youngest daughter she was hopeful for a son. She had had three girls, she had my sister who is three years older, and then she had the twins, and six years later they had hoped for a boy, and Carol came. And so she has daughters. And she just found that pillow. As the pillow says, "Daughters are forever and I'm so glad you're mine." And when I see it on the bed I think of her. And she's with me every day even though we live maybe an hour apart. But I'll see her Saturday.

  • Brenda Pollard, Durham

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