(This lily was created in memory of my mom, and it is named “The Edonna Mae”.)
Today is my mom’s Birthday. She would have been ….79. I miss her. There are things going on in my life that I wish I could talk to her about. I would like to know what I know about her now….and have that conversation. I would even share things with her that she didn’t know about me.
We didn’t always have that kind of relationship. For the first 20 years of my life, my mom was an alcoholic. I got to experience a wide range of emotions and situations growing up. Family and marital tension were a way of life. No one really wanted to live at home. It seemed like every one’s goal in life was to “get out”, including mine. We had our times of laughter and mirth and “the family Wheeze”…. don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for that out let. We also had many people come in and out of our home. Every one was welcomed and that was a good thing.
It is sad, because in retrospect, all that my mom ever wanted to do was be a wife and mom. And despite her failures, she was all that. We always had home- cooked, delicious meals and the importance of the family table was definitely ingrained in us . We went to church every Sunday and we took a yearly family vacation in the Vista Cruiser. We sang songs together and my parents definitely fostered a love of music which all of us have carried into our adult lives. My mom, with her children’s help, also took care of her mother in our home and that was no easy task. So, good job mom! I appreciate you for all of the things you did for me.
My mom went through rehab when I was 20. When she came back, she was a deeper and no pun intended- much more sober person. No one really knew how to relate to her, and we didn’t dare talk about what life changing situation had just occurred! I stepped trepidaciously into unknown relational territory with her! I wanted it so desperately. She was a completely different person that the one I had always known.
She was given a second chance at life and we were given a second chance with her as well! Her humor really emerged in a way that I had never known before! She could laugh and make every one else laugh along with her, but she also knew how to laugh at her self! Some thing that I have, because I am so good at putting my foot in my mouth, learned how to do as well!!
Her grand children, who she adored, never knew a “different” grandma. They knew the patriotic, snack drawer, bed time story reading, memory building grandma. Through having my own marriage and children, I grew into much more understanding of the trials and tribulations my mom had been through her self. We had some really transparent talks and some not- so- great frustrations with each other. But we did have a relationship with each other and we ended up being pretty close by the time she passed away. The last week of her life was a precious time that I got to spend with her and I am extremely thankful for the privilege.
A year after her death, I learned that my mother had had a baby girl when she was 19. She gave the baby up for adoption and I grew up knowing this child, but of course not as my sister. There were soooooo many things that made sense to me about my mom as this secret was revealed. I understood her pain and the shoes she walked in, a lot better. I wish that she could have talked about it with us while she was still here.
The truth is, we all have our own shoes to walk in…don’t we? And none of us knows what it is like for another person, because we are all different. We all approach and handle things differently. My mom, did an amazing job of over coming obstacles in many ways…and a lot of it she kept to her self.
I have to talk through everything!!! That is how I process situations/life. Like I said at the beginning, there are a lot of things I would like to discuss with my mom now. I know she would give me her honest opinion, she was good at that, whether you liked it or not!! She cared deeply. She loved us and my dad was the love of her life.
When she had a heart attack, she was getting ready to be helicopter transported to a larger hospital, and her tennis shoes were at the foot of her bed. She said; “Jul, grab those and bring them to me at the hospital, because I am walking out of there!” She had a feisty determination that way.
The Bible tells us to “run the race that is marked out for us”. Today, I do not really feel like running, but I will put my tennis shoes on and walk! Remembering my mom today…loving her and missing her.