My mother told me that a beautiful poem in the head is a treasure in the heart and she started a project by teaching me the poem FLANDERS FIELD. I memorized it and as the years went by I memorized a hundred more of the classics at a rate of one or two a year. When I came home each time she would take me to her senior center, introduce me and have me recite one or more of them from my repertoire. It made her very proud.
When we went to church together and were singing along with the congregation from the hymnal, she would sometimes smile at me and close the hymnal challenging me to sing the words from memory. She could do it and often I could too.
She loved me with a great obviousness. I had the pleasure of taking care of her in the last months of her life and I was with her when she died. What she said on her deathbed is nothing short of astonishing. I wrote it into a poem and placed it on her tombstone for all the world to see. Check it out here.