“But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin.”― Mitch Albom, For One More Day
Today marks five years since my beautiful Mother closed her eyes on earth and opened them in heaven.
Five years of thinking of her daily,
tears always near the surface,
remembering my great childhood,
giving thanks for being blessed,
and missing her with every breath.
My mom was a force to be reckoned with.
She was a rebel as a teen. Mom was raised in a very strict Baptist home. No dancing, movies, or playing cards. She told me stories of sneaking to movies, etc.
But her biggest rebellion of all was meeting a fly-boy at her job as a carhop (on roller skates). My rebellious mom was drawn to my handsome, bad-boy dad, who was stationed nearby her town.
It was love at first sight and they married in June 1956 when Mom was 17 years old.
I was born 3 1/2 years later in December ’60, dispelling the rumors that mom was pregnant when marrying my dad. My sister Linda arrived September ’63, Dana in January ’65, and Denise January ’72.
Mom ran a tight, spotless ship.
Dust bunnies were her enemy,
as were swear words,
and unclean faces.
Mom taught us that faith and standing up for our beliefs were important.
She pinched pennies and licked green stamps at the grocery store so we would never go hungry.
She cooked delicious food and could make any family meal stretch to feed every childhood friend who turned up at the house for dinner. I can still hear her saying “Come in and sit down, there’s plenty!” as she pulled up another chair to the table.
She was a willing host to card games, sleepovers, birthday parties, family events, and any kind of gathering that involved friends and family.
Mom’s sense of humor was fierce. When something struck her as funny she would laugh and have trouble stopping. I remember one family gathering (during a cut-throat UNO game) when a diaper ended up on her chair – which produced more gales of laughter.
Her snowman collection was legendary.
As most moms do, she became smarter as I grew older and had children of my own. Perhaps it was I who became smarter. We talked about that a lot, Mom and I. Yes, I admitted that I was a cocky teenager/young adult who thought she knew everything – and apologized.
She honored her Mother by taking the time to write a letter every day. Those letters told of our lives and milestones in the days before cell phones when long-distance was charged by the minute.
Although her parents lived 1.5 hours away, we visited them nearly every month. If my Dad was working, she loaded us girls in the car and made the trip herself.
She taught me to never, ever give up.
But most of all, she taught me to love and showed us commitment.
My mom loved her family without reservation.
She was a lioness who protected her lion and cubs. A badass who could turn on anyone who had one bad word to say about any of us.
Even when she fell ill, she worried about my Dad and her family.
She adored her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Mom was an example that I always wanted to live up to, but somehow felt as though I fell short.
Her approval meant the world to me.
Mom- Rest easy in heaven. I will miss you until we see each other again…
All my love ❤️💔❤️,