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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Thinking Back On Mother's Day -Precious Memories 22

“For we think back through our mothers 
if we are women.” 
                                                                                              Virginia Woolf 

I want to roll back the clock, and be a little girl again, running in and out of the sheets snapping and waving on the clothesline. Laying in my bed, I want to hear the Star Spangled Banner on her radio, as she starts her day. I want to smell fresh perked coffee and hear her clanking dishes in the sink. I want to smell roast in the slow cooker on Sunday.

I want to sit across from her at lunch, laughing and talking. I want her to hug me, and leave her soft clean scent swirling around me. I want her to eat her fair share of the cheesecake.

But if you’ve lived any length of time, you have learned the same as I have. Life doesn’t give us our wants most of the time.

My mom has been in Heaven for some time, and I am “the mother” my family focuses on now for Mother’s Day.

And yes, I’ve been a mom for awhile now but for so long, Mother’s Day (for me) was to focus on her. She was the matriarch of our family, and held the place of honor.

Celebrating Mother’s Day without a mom, has felt out of sorts for me. I am adapting, slowly. I have had to realize that I am for my son what my mom was for me - the focus of Mother’s Day. I have taken her place in the family line. It is sobering.

My mother received a variety of gifts for Mother’s Day, but mostly crumpled, crushed dandelions, freshly picked and delivered by the sweaty hand of a proud, smiling child. She exclaimed over those pitiful weeds as if I had brought her the finest bouquet. I fondly remember the yellow streaks they left on my hands. She would laugh and call it “butter.” She displayed them proudly in a glass, perched in the kitchen windowsill. She kept them long after they had wilted and dried, evidence of simple, child-like love. My colored pictures haphazardly torn out of the coloring book, with jagged edges, were treated like works of art rivaling Picasso and Monet. The homemade cards, made from thick construction paper, were lovingly stored away amongst her most treasured valuables.

Later, my gift to her was time and it was my favorite. Our lunch dates were where I really got to know my mom. Our conversations revealed what made her tick. I learned her likes, her worries, her fears, what she was like growing up. I learned what angered her and made her sad. I discovered the causes she championed and what a fierce advocate for the “underdog” she could be. She became more than an authority figure in my eyes. We became close friends.

I am carrying on this tradition with my son. Lunch dates to him right now are about fun and food, and we have a great time. But I know the deep foundation these conversations will lay. I try to pass along to him the lessons I have learned, and what my mother shared with me. We have decided to have a “Christmas in July” outing where we will splurge on ourselves, eat, talk, and shop. This will most likely result in browsing many sports related retail stores.

But I don’t mind.

He’s grown up now and I know that it is likely I won’t have these lunch dates for long. Another woman may steal his heart at some point, and I will let him go. I want him to be happy and like my mom did with me, I will encourage him to pursue his dreams. I will try not to interfere with his choices, but gently wait aside, quietly here if he needs me.

Just like she did with me.

"No one worries about you like your mother, and when she is gone, the world seems unsafe, things that happen unwieldy. You cannot turn to her anymore, and it changes your life forever. 
There is no one on earth who knew you from the day you were born; who knew why you cried, or when you'd had enough food; who knew exactly what to say when you were hurting; and who encouraged you to grow a good heart. 
When that layer goes, whatever is left of your childhood goes with her." 
―Adriana Trigiani, Big Stone Gap 

  *The Precious Memories posts you read here, are dedicated to my mother who battled Alzheimer's. I share snippets of our story, and some things I learned along the way.  

You can start reading our story from the beginning here:
Precious Memories 1 

You can read my last Precious Memories post here:
Somebody's Hero - Precious Memories 21

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