Friday, May 9, 2014


Eighteen years have passed since my mother died.  Whoever said that time heals all wounds obviously hadn't yet lost his mother.

I wonder why it is that we sometimes develop an appreciation for our mothers when it is too late to tell them so.  I am so very grateful to her for her patience in teaching me all there was to know about keeping a home, for that is what she did.
She married right after WWII, in an era where Dad's went off to work in the morning and Mom's stayed home and washed the clothes and scrubbed the floors and baked the cookies and cooked the meals.  She sewed our clothes and mended them when we were careless and put holes in them.  She saw to it that we went to church.  She made sure we understood the importance of family.  And she made sure that I learned the lessons well.

When we are young, we tend to resent having to stay home to help with the Saturday house cleaning ritual (Just in case we get company on Sunday.), or to help with the canning of garden vegetables and cases of peaches (If we don't do this now, we won't eat this winter.), or to learn how to sew a dress (If you can sew, you will always have nice clothes to wear.).  We want to be with our friends instead of sitting on the back steps shelling a tub full of peas.

And when we get to be young adults, we are way too busy and way too self-important to even think about the person who taught us the things that now make our lives better.  When money is tight and we refrain from buying a new blouse, but sew one for ourselves, it doesn't occur to us to thank the person who spent hours showing us how it was done.  When we have children of our own to feed, we don't think about the person who taught us to fry a chicken without burning the daylights out of it or how to roast a piece of beef without winding up with a chunk of shoe leather.

It is now, when I am in the twilight of my life, that I think the most about the woman who raised me.  If she had not taken the time and had the patience (Lord only knows, she needed a basketful of patience with me.), I would not be enjoying this time of my life nearly as much as I do.  I wouldn't know how to do so many things that now occupy my time and that I enjoy.  I wouldn't have as great an appreciation for my family as I do.  And I wouldn't have the values that are important to me.

I wish I had told her more often than I did.  I hope she knows that the rebellious girl-child she dealt with has come full circle, and has acquired an appreciation for all of the hard work it took to get me to this point.  And that even though I have, over the years, strayed far afield from my mother's teachings, I never forgot.  She taught me well.

Thank you, Mom.  I love and miss you.


  1. Understood, from the loss of my dad 30 years ago, and very well said.

  2. Thank you, Gorges. They never leave our hearts.

  3. Looks like your mom lived a good life and even enjoyed old age. She grabbed the brass ring seems to me.

    My mom is still alive. She sends me little packages like she did when I was overseas. She even sends me peanuts, and I live in Georgia!

  4. Aw, sweet is that - sending peanuts to your son who lives in Georgia!

    Although my Mom was badly crippled by rheumatoid arthritis at a fairly young age, her mind remained sharp and she was able to enjoy the company of friends and relatives - especially her grandchildren. She was made of sterner stuff than I am, and I can't recall hearing her complain. So when I start to whine about my aches and pains, all I need do is remember what a difficult time she had. Mine seem pretty minor by comparison.

  5. Your post made me think of my mother, and how - as she faded - it was like a campfire; late at night, the embers a dull glow slowly dimming until only cold ashes remained.

    At that time, I missed her more than ever and the feeling of loss will remain forever. .

  6. Jess...Your words describe exactly how it is, watching someone you love weaken and fade before your eyes.

    Even after all the years that have passed since my mother's death, the feeling of loss hasn't dimmed. I don't think it ever will.

  7. I am watching my Mother fade as we speak. I drove up to Iowa to be with for Mother's Day and I'm not sure she always realizes I'm here. But it makes me feel good to be with her. She was WWII nurse and worked hard all her life. At almost 93 she remains one tough lady, tho her mind is leaving her. So I know exactly what you mean. I try to tell her often how much she means to me and how much I love her. We need to tell our loved ones how much we care while they are still with us.

    Great post! Blessings!

  8. CottonLady...My thoughts and prayers are with you and your mother. It has to be so difficult when memory fails. I have to believe that on some level, they know you are there. You are absolutely right about telling those we care about just how much we love them. I wasn't with either of my parents when they passed, but every time I had seen them or talked with them by phone, I always told them that I loved them. I do the same with my kids and grandkids. If they don't know anything else, I want them to know that they are loved.

  9. 45 years since my mum passed away. And a month since my father.

    Vicki, I'm sure your mom realized how much she meant to you and how much you had absorbed of what she had taught you. All she had to do was listen to your life. :)

    Take it easy on yourself.

  10. Dani...My condolences on the recent passing of your father. It isn't easy to lose a parent, is it - even when we are all grown up.

    Thank you for your kind words. I guess it is just human nature to wish that we had said or done more when our parents were still with us. Especially when we were blessed with parents who were loving and cared enough to stick with it - even when as kids we were less than grateful at the time! Mom died in 1996 and Dad in 2004. I was so very lucky to have had them as long as I did.