Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Lucky Six

It's late and because my mind is racing or because I've gotten enough sleep for the week, I cannot sleep. Mother's Day is tomorrow, Sabby couldn't wait so She and Katie gave me a WONDERFUL candle today for Mother's Day; I received beautiful flowers from Rob, Carla, Madi & Conner earlier today.
My kids have always made a big deal about Mother's Day for me and I know I am blessed.
To me though, Mother's Day has always been about MY mom. I remind my daughters and Carla not to forget, THEY are mothers and this is their day.  It's just never seemed like my day and that has always been O.K.
My mom was a special mother; truly a June Cleaver kind of mom. She was thirty when this picture was taken, the twins she held in her arms were #'s 4 & 5; Kathie and Me; and her oldest child had yet to turn 6. Almost 5 years later, she had child #6. She made it look easy. 
I don't recall a day that I returned home from school and mom wasn't there.  I remember the conversations with Mom with Kathie and Peggy after school when we'd "put her to our own tests"  --- would you really answer any question Mom? Yes you would. I remember your courage when you said goodbye to Richard on that awful rainy day in December, in 1966 at El Toro Air Base. Only years later when my own sons were Richard's age did I really understand the pain and fear you must have felt that day. I remember The Rosary every day and sitting quietly on Good Fridays. I remember that you made God loving and not judgmental for us.  I remember how when things changed so much during the 60's and 70's you stood with us. Not usually approving everything we did but we never doubted your love. Kathie would talk about that at your funeral. I remember telling you I was marrying Paul, a man who'd been married before.  You not only came to my "unsanctioned" wedding; you planned it and talked our friend Father Tom into performing the ceremony as an official of the state if not of the Church. You were shy and retiring but backed down that Pot & Pan salesman when Richard's girlfriend Gale got into one of those contracts. You spoke to me of your pride in me once in my thirties; that I worked and everything. If you only understood that I forever judged myself by my memories of you and always came up short. You celebrated our victories and shared our sorrows. Peggy felt special in your eyes because she stayed home full time; Kathie & I felt special in your eyes because we were able to work and maintain a home.
You were the ONLY person I knew who smoked like a lady. You were dying of Emphysema but only quietly encouraged me to cut down if I could and quit if possible. Not like me.. in the faces of your grand daughters to "QUIT NOW OR END UP LIKE ME"... Your four daughters and two sons relied on you well into our forties for strength and advice during our hard times and to give you good news of our victories. When you died, your middle aged children felt like orphans. Peggy, Kathie and I went to Robinsons May on the anniversary of your death that first year. We felt closer to you there than the cemetery.  When the spasms get bad or I'm feeling especially down - this week - I sense you're with me with encouragement and love. I don't hear your answering me when I whine at you but I feel your love.

Sabby's Daddy has Red hair but I tell her she got her red hair from her Nana who loves her from Heaven. My sadness is strongest when I look at my grandchildren and remember you and Dad were gone before they arrived. I know you know them, I just wish they knew you.

You are with me tonight mom; keeping me up :)... It was ten years ago in January and I still miss you every day; And I'm still grateful everyday that I was one of the Lucky Six who called you Mom. 
Happy Mother's Day Mom.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today.  Happy Mothers Day to all you Moms out there.
                                                        Early 1957
                                Japan, Circa 1973
                        Christmas Mid 1970's
                              September 1996


Jim said...

Wow, wonderful memories and tribute to your Mom. Thanks for sharing it.

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandy said...

Betty, this was a beautiful tribute, just beautiful!! I'm a little behind on getting around to blogs which I hope to do later tonight, but wanted to wish you a happy mothers' day. I could feel your love for your mom reading this.


lyndsey27 said...

I was lucky enough to call her nana and im lucky to call you mom. I miss nana and grandpaenny, lots.

love you mommy

mig bardsley said...

Lovely post Betty. Mums are precious and so are our memories of them.