Happy 100th Birthday, Mom

I looked at your obituary today, mom,
and caught my breath as I read:

“Barbara Zigler Glick received a degree
as a Registered Nurse in 1942.
She worked as a staff nurse in hospitals
in Richmond, Va., Chicago, Il. and Lancaster, Pa.”

I’ve known, of course,
that before us kids began coming
you were an RN, mom,
but during these terrible days
of the COVID-19 pandemic,
I hadn’t made the connection,
thought of you, if still alive and younger,
working on the frontlines of today
in the battle for human health and safety,
an on-going battle at all times,
not just now,
but an especially important one
now for nurses, doctors, EMT workers
and all the other people whose jobs
are essential.

I can visualize you, mom,
in your protective gear,
or what of it could be scraped together,
helping others facing death,
helping others to beat it and survive,
to be able to return to loved ones—
or being with those who don’t make it.

You would have been seen,
and so rightly,
as an angel of mercy,
as so many health workers
are today.

There is another thing of note about today
for me, and I know also for you:
this was the day, in 1971,
when I was in prison
for resisting the Vietnam war,
that I was indicted with 7 others by
the Nixon government
for a non-existent conspiracy.

In prison, facing five more years,
if convicted.

Thankfully, none of us
were convicted,
a year later at trial

But this is your day, mom,
not mine.

A day to remember your beauty,
your grace, your quiet strength,
your love for others,
your devotion to Mary, Marti and I,
your gentle righteousness
and commitment to
living a God-centered life.

I love you, mom,
and am so thankful
and so lucky
that you were my mother.