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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Remembering and being thankful....

17 years ago yesterday, my mother passed away.  Before you stop reading, I want to tell you that I'm not going to go on and on about death and loss.  I was thinking about what I thought about her then and what I think about her now...

After a person dies, especially in my family,  that they become a martyr...they become someone who had no faults and was perfect.  We talk about them becoming "saints"..and when we remember them,  it is difficult to remember the bad things about them.

That's kind of true with my mother, but honestly,  I remember a lot about her that wasn't flattering...and I guess now that I'm looking at 50, I can see how much I am like her...the good and the bad and the ugly!

When she died in 1996, I wasn't going to be anything like her.  I was going to be understanding and not just say what I was thinking. I wasn't going to yell or embarrass my kids at all.  I wasn't going to play favorites, I was going be very laid back about my house and I was not going to drink at all.  

Well, if you know me, I say what is on my mind without a filter.  Most of the time, I say too much.   I also drink, I play favorites at times,  and I yell and scream if my house is a mess and I spent the day cleaning... and if you ask my children, I am an embarrassment.

But, I've never missed a thing my kids have done and have spent most of my last 18 years being the class mom, the player agent, the feeder of the band, and the mom that dances at the gatherings...(I guess that is where most of the embarrassment comes in.)  My mother did that, not missing anything I did,  and while I was dying on the outside...I must say, it meant a lot to me...

I remember playing in a  high school softball game and my mother  had been to happy hour...I heard her voice through the crowd after I hit the ball and was running to first..."Come on , Terry, get that piano off your back". Let's just say, I was mortified...but she was right...I was really slow!

She was something else...She and my father had three kids...all two years apart and then 8 years later...I came along.  I am sure I wasn't in the plan.  As she used to say, "If your going to play the game, you better get the ammunition"...My guess is she didn't have the ammunition the night I was made...

When she was on her death bed, in the living room...We sat around her hospital bed with the rails up, watching TV.  My sister Chris was sitting one one side of the bed and I was on the other.  I had my feet up on the bed and waiting for her to fall asleep so I could go to bed...

I took her hand and asked her if I should have another baby..."Ma, do you think I oughta have another baby?"  She replied, " I always liked babies" and then fell asleep.  I went to bed and a few hours later, my sister, Chris woke me up and asked me to check on my mother...she was gone.  We woke up my father and he stood by her hospital bed for what seemed like an eternity.  I remember him putting his hand on her head,shaking his head, and looking at her lifeless body...

10 months later Howie came along.  I was still sad and felt like I had no control but also felt like he was a gift from my mother.  As weird as that sounds, I was in such a sad place after my mother died...I don't even remember making that child...

So 17 years later, I do miss her and I do things like her.  I spend most of my days thinking about my children...and counting my blessings.  I think about how my mother took me to swimming, to basketball, to softball...how she made sure I went to college and how she told me I was gonna be a nurse.  

I wish my kids would have known her...Christie met her a few times when we visited her and Aunt Chris in NY.  I remember when I came home from Florida after she died and they picked me up from the airport...I got in the car and had my mother's shirt on.  Christie, a smarty 3 year old with a black eye,  asked if I got a new shirt. I replied that it was Grandma's shirt and Christie, without missing a beat said, " Doesn't Grandma need that shirt in heaven?" to which I silently cried all the way home...

My mother met Mac in NY when he was a teeny guy and still nursing.  I remember when he started crying and I started to pull up my shirt to  nurse him..."What are you a cow?" she said as I hooked him up.  She said exactly what was on her mind and at the time I didn't appreciate it.

I think about her all the time.  I wonder what she would think of me and my kids and Jim.  I think she would be proud to see how they have all turned out.

I think she would love that when push comes to shove, her children show up, support and love each other through the good, the bad and the ugly.  I think she would decide that she "raised us right" and that we know what is important.  At least I hope so.

It's interesting when a person talks about a grandparent...I never had any, and my kids had them for a short time.  My mother passed in 1996, my father in 2003.  Jim's mother passed away when he was 24 and his father in 2006.  No grandparents here...

And talk about loss...a sweet young nephew and a wonderful character of a brother-in -law as well...

But...today has been a wonderful day...a day of work, snow, thinking and blessing...a day of being with Howie and Jim and getting to have Mac home for the night.  The only one missing is Christie Lou but I know she is doing well.  A phone call from both sister's...

A bottle of pink wine, housework, and quiet blessings...

Life is hard and it is wonderful at the same time and we don't know what it's going to be when we open our eyes every day...

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all...and I really do!
Terry


3 comments:

janzi said...

Of course its no wonder you are feeling a bit low at this time..its a funny thing about parents, we always see how hard they've worked on our behalf, long after they have left us.. I never, for instance, appreciated the sacrifice my dad made in allowing me out to be with friends on a saturday night, to go dancing or the pictures, and always always be waiting to take me home afterwards.. of course I hated not being able to go home with my friends on the bus, but he dragged himself out each week to meet me in order to know I was safe and sound.. we do turn out to follow a lot of what our mothers say and do, and thats not such a bad thing.. I bet your mum looks down with a wry smile and love, seeing you cope with your kids in much the same way!! [I remember my daughter saying to me, that I was turning into my mother, and I got her back by saying so was she!!! We had such a laugh...] Hugs to help you through these days, we never stop loving them no matter how long they are gone.. I hope our kids will feel the same... Janzi

Ms. Moon said...

I remember back when we were almost roommates and how you'd call your mother and end up crying. She was a force of nature, that one. I remember there was always a shit list and sometimes you were on it and sometimes it was one of your sisters.
Ah- mothers.
They give us so much and some of it is actually good. Right? Right?

vicky said...

Don't forget, a few text with an old and very real friend