We take advantage of those who are closest to us and no one gets taken advantage of more than our mothers. So today was all about giving mom a day for her and a day for me to take a good look at the woman who gave me life…
My mom will be eighty in July. Her mind is very youthful and still keen, she doesn’t move as quickly and doesn’t see or hear as well but she is very much the same woman who brought me into this world. Sarah is still the center cog in my families’ machine; tending to friends, cats indoor and feral, my cousin’s dogs, my cousins and her beloved John. She cooks cleans two houses, sews, does her water colors, bakes and occasionally still pens a letter to the editor for the local paper.
Mom was born and brought up in the same town she still resides in and once lead (former Town Administrator). Besides being a municipal leader she was a house keeper, realtor, owned her own business, worked for the State at D.O.T. and for the Attorney General. She’s belonged to many local organizations and has contributed immensely to her community.
Never to shy away from helping others she befriended many elderly residents and visited, cooked for and taxied them until they passed away. When we were younger she took in family members in need. She was the primary caretaker for my cousin who is on the spectrum until we could get services.
Even knowing all this about my incredible mom it wasn’t until I saw her hutch littered with Mother’s Day cards from friends, family members, dogs, and cats (I only have one brother). The amount of loving wishes from those cards made me realize my mother is “The Mother, A True Matriarch” I am so filled with pride, and feel so blessed that she is not only my Mother, but my friend and mentor…
I’m so grateful to all those who sent my mom those lovely cards you opened my eyes and my heart to really see my Mom…
Today my mom made me my favorite soup! It’s my grandmother’s recipe, my fraternal grandmother’s. It was the perfect day too, with temps barely reaching twenty degrees. It was a warm and welcomed treat.
Funny how certain foods can take you back. If I’d closed my eyes I know I would have been jettisoned back to my grandmother’s kitchen. Where I would be sitting at her 50’s styled kitchen table with the red vinyl chair seats. My grandmother would be in her familiar apron and a black sweater telling me to eat,eat its good for you.
This simple soup probably a staple in the depression, is a rare and wonderful treat for me now. More than a meal it nourishes my body and soul. Maybe we all need a little more soup – Love by the bowl full!
All to often we leave things unsaid, thinking we can leave it for tomorrow. Except as my father used to say; “Tomorrow never comes, its always today.” No one is guaranteed another moment let alone another day. Don’t ever leave the presence of someone you love without telling them you love them. I got into this habit when my dad was dying of cancer. I always made my last words I love you dad to be sure those were the last words he heard – They were.
The problem is unless we know someone is terminally ill we never think this will be our last moment together. I no longer take that chance. Too many people I care about have gone without me saying those words. In fact I end all my phone conversations and my text messages that way. Get in the habit you’ll never have to regret what your last moment was with anyone.
Oh sorry to bring this up, but don’t forget it could be you who’s not around tomorrow! Do you want to leave this world with things left unsaid?
As we scurry and hurry to find the perfect gift for family and friends. Let’s not worry about what they may like or want. How about giving them what they need?
Love, one size fits all!
By the way isn’t that what the season is all about Charlie Brown?
Before the gifting starts and the inevitable returning begins… Let me go on about “Returns.”
These past few days I’ve been returning gifts – Helping my cousin with his internet connections and shopping; In return for walking me to the bus stop and teaching me about cars. Helping my mother decorate her tree and clean her kitchen; In return for making me the woman I am…
I’m sure there will be more “Returns” to all the people who have given me all sorts of special gifts – This will be a pleasure. To return love is the best gift I can give and get…
So who’s gift do you need to return?
A few of my friends think of me as a cleaning fanatic. What I am is an average house keeper who loves to clean. I especially look forward to holiday cleaning. This is when I clean everything, even the cans in the food cupboard.
Some of you may think of that as extreme. Maybe it is, but not to me. I recall my mother telling my brother and me “Santa doesn’t come to dirty houses.” Then we proceeded to clean and while we (mostly mom) cleaned there would be stories about the house being built and who gave her this candy dish or when and where she bought a shelf. This is where my love of caring for my things and cherishing the memories they bring was born.
Here is an example of two hours of what many may call a chore and what I believe is just love remembered: While washing the walls in my hall I reminisced how many hands and how much love went into putting this tiny condo together. There was my uncle George who tore down the dark ugly paneled walls and put in the doors and painted. John my step-father who put in the ceramic tile in the kitchen and my mother’s handy finish work on the built in book shelf. Yet the most precious item is a book case my dad built for me thirty-seven years ago for school. Polishing that is a pure act of love. I recall how very proud he was of that rose stained bookcase (dad wasn’t very handy). On that bookcase there are Emit Kelly clowns that are just a small sample of many clowns I once owned. I kept these because they remind me of a significant time of growth. Then there’s the Santa snow globe that was once my aunt Lucy’s and now mine. I leave it out all year to remind me of Aunt Lucy and to have the spirit of Christmas all year round. On the book case is a ceramic rabbit that was a gift from a friend after receiving my yellow belt. While cleaning the ceramic teddy bear from Germany the wonderful memories of that trip flood my mind.
A visit to the past an appreciation of the present and a knowing that no matter what happens in the future I’ve led a blessed life… So this home, houses my life. What a privilege not a chore to keep it as it’s kept me.
No Chore, Just Love