Thursday, October 04, 2012



My mother died three weeks ago. She was very ill for two weeks before that. I refer to that period as IT. I hate IT. And IT dominates my life as I have to deal with a lawyer and research estate sale organizers and worry about how I'm going to pay for her funeral.

IT needs to be dealt with. But I resent how IT reduces my mother to first pain and death, then stuff likes taxes and bills and accounts and a mortgage. So with this TT, I'd like to just think of her as a woman. (SHOUT OUT TO BOOKMAMA: Thank you for the idea.)

1) When my mother was a very young girl during the Depression, her favorite treat was canned fruit cocktail. Especially the halved cherry. She remembered that as the highlight of her Sundays.

2) Her middle name was Ruth, in honor of her father's sister. Aunt Ruth was what the family referred to as "colorful." Meaning that Aunt Ruth was known throughout town for doing things like holding the strap and singing "Clang, clang, clang went the trolley …" at the top of her lungs while riding the trolley.

3) She hated to cook. She knew how to, she just hated doing it.

4) After my dad died, she no longer had to make a conventional dinner each night. That's when she began having cold cereal or oatmeal for dinner and that suited her fine.

5) She loved her backyard. Not just the lawn and flowers, but the animals, too. It made her so happy to watch the birds and squirrels and chipmunks.

6) But not spiders! She was terrified of spiders! Snakes, too.

7) She got her first cat when she was 8 or 9 years old. She accompanied her dad to a bar and was playing with a box of kittens tucked away in the back room. When the bartender was unable to pay up on a bet with my grandfather, my mom got to take one of the kittens home instead. She chose a little calico.

8) She had 12 more cats over the course of her life. No dogs.

9) She loved warm, dry spring and summer days because she could dry laundry out on the line.

10) She had beautiful handwriting.

11) She was very close to her own mother. That's who chose to be buried beside.

12) She had a distinctive, throaty voice. I will forever miss hearing it.

13) More than anything, she loved her grandchildren. She often quoted a plaque she saw in a card shop: I thought I'd never fall in love again. Then I became a grandma.

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  1. Your mother sounds like she was a wonderful person. I'm truly sorry for your loss, but I'm truly happy you have such beautiful things to remember about her.

  2. I'm terribly terribly sorry for your loss. She sounds like such a wonderful lady. I wish you comfort in dealing with the aftermath of IT.

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Your tribute is wonderful. I feel like I know your mom through you and she’s a person I would have liked a lot. Thanks.

  4. I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Your tribute is wonderful. I feel like I know your mom through you and she’s a person I would have liked a lot. Thanks.

  5. A beautiful tribute to your mother. {{{HUGS}}}

    My blog

  6. I am choked up reading this tribute.

  7. Reading this post was especially poignant, My Mother came to visit for a week, to assist me after surgery and she departs to tomorrow. The week has been amazing.

    This really is a beautiful tribute to your Mother.

  8. I'm thinking this was a very therapeutic post for you to write. It really was a wonderful generation.

  9. That was a sweet tribute to your mom. I liked learning about her because it's shaped who you are. <3

  10. I'm sorry about your mom. Not keeping up with your blogs makes me feel bad because you used to be my daily regular!! I love the tribute. It makes me happy to read it. My dad passed away January 4, 2010, I still cry. My mom moved in with me not long after that, and it took awhile for us both to adjust because she has always told me that I was the child she really grew to she depends on me. my husband left, my dad died and I lost my job within 6 months ... lots of adjusting and lots of prayer. I put your blog back up on the top of my 'favorites' you'll be hearing from me more. ~hugs to you~

  11. First, big hug to you. Not that it will lessen the pain any from your loss, but perhaps let you feel less alone. This was a lovely post. I lost my mom when I was nine, so I don't have those years and years of memories to keep me afloat, but I cherish the ones I do have, and I know you will as well.

    I hope you find some lovely and warm new inspirations in the days ahead.


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