Mom & Me, 1986

Mom & Me, 1986

My mom’s 67th birthday would have been tomorrow. But tomorrow is My World “Tuesday.” And since I post for the memes I do a day ahead (for me), I thought I would just honor her birthday a day ahead as well.

When my mom was 63, her caretaker decided to throw a big birthday party for her which included people writing things about their memories of her. I lived far away, but I made a scrapbook page to send. 200811-23motherdautherscrapbookpagecropped

The top picture is from 1986. (I was 21; My mom was 45.) My mom and I are wearing sweaters I knitted. It was my first big knitting project, and I wanted to make one for her to match mine. My mom was always too hot, so I modified the pattern to make a vest. (I was impressed with myself.)

The bottom picture is when Chic is about 5 months old. It is Mother’s  Day. My mother was in her 5th year of downward decline at this point. She no longer spoke, but she understood everything. She loved Chic. She would hold her for hours (and Chic would let her). My parents babysat one day a week for the first nine months of Chic’s life when we lived near them.

The bottom picture is covering an envelope. Inside an envelope is a list of things I remembered about my mother. There are so many more, but this covers a lot of highlights:

Things I remember about you…
-Waking me up every morning until I went away to school (at 15) by saying, “Good Morning Little Girl; Rise and Shine!”
-Your saying every evening, “You can set the table,” as if it were some grand privilege.
-Periodically finding a treat in my room after school.  (My favorites were “Now and Laters.”)
-Trips with just the two of us to Eureka Springs or other small towns around for shopping.
-Damming up creeks.
-Visiting you at work at the nursing home when I was very little.
-The care packages you sent when I was in academy and college.  (Did you know I never shared the things you sent?)
-That you sent me cards at least once a week in academy and college. They were usually funny, and you only signed your name; you rarely wrote a message. Sometimes you would include the baseball standings or a cartoon from the newspaper.
-Days spent in antique stores.
-That you celebrated my 30th birthday for an entire week.
-That when I got home from Iceland you gave me a gift a day for a month to make up for all the time I had been gone.
-You watering your flowers and plants—indoors and out—and keeping them beautiful all the time.
-The whole summer you wouldn’t speak to me because of the phone bill.
-Spinach casserole.
-Poppy Seed Bread and Banana Bread at Christmas.
-Cranberry tea when guests came to our house for holiday dinners.
-The Peugeot.
-The Minivans.
-The summer I turned 18, I came home from academy to find you had enrolled me in a nurses’ aide course and expected me to find a job in a nursing home for the summer. (Which I did for two summers.)
-How you never gave endless lectures on my behavior and choices that did not please you, but I still knew your expectations and when I was not living up to them.
-Always going somewhere with you to take care of elderly people.
-That you would never let me have long hair when I was little.
-Your lack of interest in cooking and other things domestic. Yet when I wanted to learn to sew, you helped me make a simple dress.
-Your “watch thing.”  I remember being in New York with Daddy where we bought the amethyst one for you.
-Your sense of humor and mischievousness.