Saturday, May 9, 2015

Remembering My Mother, on Mother's Day...

What can I say about my mom?  Well, I talked a little about her in a post last year regarding the holidays.  At times, she wasn't the easiest person to get along with, and yet, through all my years of growing up, even after getting spankings with the wooden spoon from her, and an occasional belt from my dad, I came to retain a great respect and love for this woman.  My sister and brother not so much.  A few things about my mom that I would like to share with you...

I was the only planned child of the three of us...my sister, Pam, being 61 and Michael, 57 (on May 24 actually).  My brother and I are only 13 months apart. 

My mom was 10 years younger than my dad, and she was 19 and he 29 when they were married.  I would imagine that back in the 50's, that was much more eyebrow raising than it is today.

My mom worked part time, which, back in the 60's, when my father was working full time, was not that common.  She worked at Sears for nearly 30 years and her hours were from 5 pm to 10 pm.  She would always get dinner on the table for all of us before leaving for work, and we ate as a family until we became teens, and then of course, things got a little scattered with schedules.

My mom was not a chef by any means, but was a very good cook and made a variety of things.  We would have pork chops, ribs, fish, lamb, and all dinners usually came with mashed potatoes and a vegetable.  While the veggies were canned or frozen, the mashed potatoes were always real potatoes, whole milk and butter with salt and pepper.

If there was one attribute that my mom instilled in all three of kids, it was fairness.  She never favored one child over the other, which is how it should be.  We would have the same amount of presents at Christmas, the same amount of trinkets in our Easter baskets, etc.  To this day, I am this way, and when I visit my two nieces, Alex and Abs, I make sure everything is exactly equal.

I remember my mom used to iron our underwear.  Even though she knew no one would see it, she thought we would feel better.

When any of us were sick, she would set up the tv tray, and bring us toast and tea in bed...sometimes my dad would even bring in the tv to our room...both of these were so special.

Sadly my mother died in 2002 of multiple myeloma.  When she went to doctor not feeling well, she was already in stage 4 of the cancer.  It was absolute hell for my mom the next year, and she died when she was 67.  I would talk to my mom pretty much every day on the phone after she was diagnosed.  She would tell me that she would say multiple rosaries every day, how retched the chemo was, and that she would visit me when she got well, which I would have hoped would be the case, but knew better. The night before I was to fly to Chicago to visit her, I had talked to her on the phone, and she wasn't doing well.  After our conversation, I remember that I hadn't told her I loved her.  I called the hospital back and asked the nurse to please let her know.  Afterwards, I just sat on my front porch, and through many tears, sitting by myself, told my mom through my thoughts that it was okay if she died.   I was supposed to fly out the next morning, but something told me to stay put.  I got a call an hour later from the nurse letting me know my mother had died.  Perhaps she had wanted my okay, and if she did, I was glad I was able to read her thoughts the night before.  Every time I go back home to Chicago, I visit the cemetery where she and my dad are.  I clean the gravestones, sit on the grass, and through tears, keep them company for awhile.  I always hate to leave.

Happy Mother's Day mom...I know you did the best you could.  I have no complaints, many regrets and so much love for you to this day.  Love, your daughter, Nancy

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