Oct
15

Happy Birthday, Mom. I Love and Miss You!

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A mother is a person who seeing there are only 4 pieces of pie for 5 people promptly announces she never did care for pie (Tenneva Jordan). I smile when I read that quote for it reminds me of my mother.  Today she would have been 89 years old.

I lost her last January and yet perhaps I am more aware of her presence than ever before.

I find that she is with me every day in my thoughts and in my actions. Particularly in the kitchen.

Momma was a good cook. A really good cook. From breakfast to dessert, she could cook it and cook it well.

My husband often comments how, “You really know how to fry an egg,” and I smile because Mom taught me the ‘secret’.  Low heat. No rush. Every time I turn the stove eye down while I’m cooking eggs, I think of Mom.

I see her in my mind, scrapping the bowl to get out the last bit of whatever she was mixing up so there would be no waste.  She run her finger around that bowl until it was almost clean enough to use again, rescuing every ounce of batter from the pits of waste.

I used to get so frustrated at her because I had this feeling that she really didn’t like chicken wings better than chicken legs and breasts but she always took the less desirable parts, stating that they were her favorite, so that my brother and I could get the better pieces.

I had a sneaky suspicion that the end piece of the loaf of bread was not really her favorite but if there were only a couple of slices of bread left in the bag, you could be sure that the end piece was her favorite.

Truly amazed at her constant influence, I find that she taught me so much. I hear her voice in my head and I wonder if my voice will play in my children’s head one day. (That thought mostly frightens me!)

She often talked about saving money, having been born in the Great Depression Era. Growing up, I would always have a really nice dress for my school events that she had bought sometime the year before on a close out sale from Maison Morgan, the most upscale department store in our area.

As a child, I remember being truly perplexed when Mom wouldn’t let Mike and I order a cheeseburger instead of a hamburger because in those days a cheeseburger costs 5 cents more. How often I remembered that as she had sufficient savings to provide her expensive health care during that last couple of years as she needed Alzheimer’s assisted living.

Mom believed in working. Hard. Her voice in my head reminds me not to half way do something, although she didn’t say it quite that way. Sometimes I’m quite sure I need inner healing when I’m pushing myself to clean some obscure crumb up off the countertop.

I also laugh when I think of some of Mom’s world view.  A woman over 50 should never have long hair. I spent more than one horrified moment in church as Mom would lean over to me and in what was not really a whisper comment about a woman’s over-50 long hair or their too short skirt. I sometime ask myself if I am still rebelling by wearing my hair long at this ‘over-50’ age!

I still think I might just call her for a moment and then realize she’s not here. I can still hear her say at the end of every call, “Mom loves you.”

Sadness often fills my heart as I think of what those Alzheimer’s years stole from Mom and from me and from all of us who loved her. It consumed our time together and changed the focus of her life.

But mostly, I just miss her.  I keep a birthday card on my desk that she sent me one time because it reminds me of her voice and her love for me.

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Categories : Birthdays, grief, Motherhood

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