Saturday, May 13, 2017

Random Memories of a Perfect, imperfect Mother

* Being a child ~ The comfort and safety I feel sleeping in between Mom and Dad when I wake up sick or afraid in the night.
* Wash day, the old wringer washer ~ swish, swish, swish and the suds bubbling up on the waters surface as I watch those clothes jerk back and forth down inside that round, metal tub.  Mom close by, wearing a cotton dress beneath her flowered apron and pulling clothes through the wringer atop the tub.  After she fills a basket with wet clothes she takes them outside to hang them on the clothesline just outside the front door.  I watch her, loving the peace that those warm summer days offer.  Clothespins.  Dandilions. Warm breezes. The smell of lilacs.  Mom.  

* She smiles

* Brown lunch bags.  Tuna sandwiches, minced ham or chopped ham sandwiches,  spam sandwiches on soft white bread wrapped in waxed paper or miniature hoagies wrapped in Saran Wrap.  Homemade cupcakes with thick, sweet icing.  Nestles Quick inside of a baggie to add to my white milk at school.  Thank you, Mom.

* Christmas to remember.  Magic.  Lights.  Knee socks filled with hard tack candy and chocolate covered cremes.  Believing in Santa.  Laughter and happiness.  Warmth.  Love.  

* Picnics with potato salad and cheese curls.  Lunchmeat and fresh bread.  Family.

* Coming home from working in the sewing factory tired.  Lying across her bed, resting.

* Super shoes at the beginning of the school year.  The smell of new shoes.  Mom, there.

* Hugging and kissing my dad.  The love.

* Nagging my dad when he drinks too much beer.  "Bob, when are you coming to bed?" she says.

*Smiling and watching as I graduate high school.

* Her tears when Dad dies.  Her emptiness.  The emptiness that surrounds us.

* The birth of my daughter.  She's my first visitor.  She brings me flowers and a new dress for the baby.  I can see pride in her face as she looks down at her new granddaughter.

* Always up for a picnic or holiday celebration at our place.  Loving family.  Loving dogs.  Loving life.

* Her illness.  Losing hope.  Her angel.  Her new lease on life.

* Her last several years.  The love.  The laughter. The savoring of each moment spent with her.

* Saying goodbye.

Till we meet again, Mom.  You were not the perfect mother.  None of us are.  But you were the one God gave to me, and I could not have loved you more.