Blog

My Mother’s Daughter

Mom in the Smokies

This morning my mind drifted to my mother and her two sisters. Everyone said my mother and one of her sisters looked alike – they didn’t. They did favor one another, but they looked very different. My other aunt looked much different than her other two sisters.

One of my aunts was a school teacher. One summer I spent some time with her, but we never really established a strong connection. She was a lovely woman, but was more focused on things being just so. She took me to her gym – I remember sitting on a machine of moving rollers designed to eliminate cellulite I think. I was about ten or eleven. It was all a strange experience to me. Her life was far removed from the way my mother lived.

My other aunt was a chemist. She was very smart and very unassuming. She was married but never had children. Looking back, I think she was a bit of a hoarder, but was surrounded by the things that made her happy – books and family letters and memorabilia. I do not think she ever threw anything away – especially not letters or pictures from family. She made most of her own clothes, maybe from the same pattern. She lived on a dairy farm and led a simple life.

My mother fell somewhere between the two. She was a hard worker. There was no money for her to finish college, so she spent her life doing blue collar work. Her last job was working for the post office as a mail carrier. She had a foot route and she loved it. She got to know the people on her route and she loved being outside and getting exercise. It was a hard job, but she really did enjoy it.

This morning it struck me just how much I am like my mother. I did not get to go to college right out of high school. I joined the Air Force instead. My mother had already been diagnosed with terminal cancer so having a job was important. My mom never put on airs. She was herself in all situations and places. She loved to be comfortable and was happy in jeans or sweats. On occasion she would dress up and put on makeup and jewelry, but it was rare. Her family was everything to her.

She was always a country girl at heart, and I guess I am, too.

Blog

What Material Belongings Do You Cherish?

This morning a comment came across my phone that spoke of things you may have lost during your life that you wish you still had. It got me thinking not only about keepsakes that were lost through the years, but also about the things I have that I cherish.

When my mother-in-law’s home was ravaged by flood waters, her loss was palpable. Everything was such a mess. It was so hard to watch her struggle and try to account in dollars what she had lost for the insurance. How does one even remember all you have collected and held onto for a lifetime. I do recall she was most worried about a small child’s tea set that had belonged to her mother. Thankfully it survived, but so little did. She felt as if her life had been washed away.

When I think back on my own life, there are some big things I could grieve over. Like my grandmother’s house. But more than that, it is the odd little things that were somehow lost or destroyed over the years that I wish I still had. Like the rolling pin my grandfather made me.

My sister was relocated by the Air Force several times during her career. When the military moves you, it is a well oiled machine that moves quickly!  When her furniture arrived at the new location, the lamb cake mold that belonged to our grandmother was gone. It was the cake pan that produced the cakes we all had for birthdays, a lamb covered in coconut with raisins for eyes. She was devastated.

Years ago, my sister bought our mother a Cameo ring. When mom passed away, the ring was given back to her. It was one of her prized possessions. When my sister passed away, the ring was never found. I have often wondered if she made a decision to give it to someone while she was alive to witness it.

Hubby and I have a few family heirlooms, but most things have no intrinsic value. They are all simple and unremarkable items, but all wrapped in memories. Those are the things we cherish.

I once asked my daughter what things she might want once we pass away. I laughed at her response. She wants the pan we always cooked our potatoes in when we got together for the holidays.

I think for me and my brood, it’s the memories that bring the value.

Blog, husband

A Man of Generous Spirit

Image by Pixabay

Day 362

Today my daughter went to the doctor and has been cleared to go back to work, but only because she has a sedentary job. She still cannot lift anything so she still has restrictions such as picking up her daughter — something a two-year old does not understand. I could rush back home, but I want to make sure she transitions well and to be honest, everyone is a bit apprehensive about me going home too soon.

I talked to my husband tonight and he agrees. This man is soft and kind and gentle and generous to a fault. He has been home alone for three weeks now. He has never complained once or asked me to come home. He has supported me every step of the way.

We have a wonderfully blended family as we were both married before. No matter who needs us, we do all we can to be there. It has always been that way. There is no his children or my children, they are our children. That simple agreement between the two of us has meant everything in our relationship.

We are both capable of caring for ourselves, thankfully. He is as good a cook as I am and has no issues or qualms in taking care of the house, laundry and dishes included. We have similar interests as well as extremely diverse interests. We do not spend every waking hour together. Maybe that is what makes this separation somewhat easier than it might be for others.

My little Florida family needs to find their rhythm without me. It will be hard to leave after this tumultuous time, but when I leave I will know they are in a safer healthier place.

I look forward to having coffee with my husband and falling back into our routine. The leaves will be turning soon if they have not already started. I look forward to taking our day trips on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see the fall foliage.

I am so fortunate to be loved with wide reaching arms that let me do what I need to do and to explore all the aspects of my being. I love him the same way in return.

But I am not ready to go yet. He understands that. And for that I am forever grateful.

Blog, daughter, illness

A New Day is Born

Day 347

It is truly amazing what a difference 24 hours can make. Yesterday morning we were apprehensive waiting for my daughter to go into surgery. The sun rose this morning on a very new day.

The storm has passed and we were spared unlike so many who suffered so much. The storm is just now nearing North Carolina. Our family in Charleston are all ok. I have a friend in Wilmington and I know there is grave concern after the devastation Florence left last year.

All in all, we are counting our blessings. It is possible my daughter will be discharged today and start on a journey toward a more comfortable life.

Again, thank you all for all your positive and uplifting comments through this difficult week. I appreciate each and every comment.

Blog, mother, new years

First Day of 2019

Day 89

The new year has an immediate pause since today is a holiday.

We had the traditional holiday meal with our daughter and her family — black-eyed peas, collards and cornbread.

Tomorrow we start a tough week. We will go be with our family to finalize arrangements for Mom’s memorial service.

Please keep us in your thoughts.