Things you always wanted to say but were afraid

My mother my friend

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My mother constantly worries about her mothering skills.  Things like did she do it right, why aren’t her children more appreciative, why didn’t it work like Leave It To Beaver.  Things like that still trouble her.  I wish I could ease her mind.  Maybe I can.

My earliest recollections are of my mother doing things with me, but more for me.  She was very careful to see that I was clean, dressed properly for any occasion, hair well taken care of.  She was also very careful to see that I had a room that was perfect for a little girl, always much nicer than the room she shared with my dad.  I think I always had more clothes, way too many toys, probably to the point of making them work extra hard to pay for the things they gave to me.  She was not the classic homemaker.  She never liked to clean house although she did and she wasn’t all that keen on cooking although she did that too.  But what she did do was sing and kept a  mostly constant  sunny disposition.  She constantly sang musicals around our house, and to this day I can sing the words to many musicals that others my age don’t even know exist.  She had/has a beautiful voice, something I wish I had inherited.  She always had many friends, and we moved many times, but that didn’t  keep her from making more wherever we went.  She made a home out of many places that we moved.  Some more difficult than others.

She didn’t always have a “regular” job, but was constantly doing things to help with the income.  She sold jewelry and called people to sell pictures at Olin Mills.  She kept 11 kids at one time.  I remember at nap time we were everywhere, but by golly we all lay down to rest.  She loved her dog and still does although the dog has changed.

My father was a very hard man to live with and yet I saw her rub his neck countless evenings when he came in with headaches.  Even though he was not easy to live with they had one thing they could do better than anyone else and that was dance.  I can still see them dancing, so flawlessly, so easily, so beautifully.  It was a sight to behold.  I miss the beauty in that movement of the two of them as one.

She did everything for me.  I was her job and her joy.  She made my favorite lunches, tuna fish sandwiches with ice tea in my thermos.  She attended every school function that required a parent.  She drove a million miles to every little hick town when I first began to play basketball.  She dressed me for school while I was still asleep until I was way too big for that and would be embarrassed to tell you how old. 

She is still here for me, and I marvel that we are able to talk for hours on end and still have things we forgot to tell each other.  On the other hand, I know we tell each other things many times over.  We share a love of classic movies, historical drama and ancestry.    I hope to have her with me for many more Mother’s Days.


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