I wish I remembered this day.
I wish we could remember our lives from birth. It might help us understand some aspects of ourselves we have overlooked. My mother became ill and diagnosed with heart disease when I was ten years old. Although she lived a very long life, my brother shared she was never quite the same after her illness.
Here are a few things Mom taught me:
To make caramels
To attend concerts and plays
To make a pie crust
To help people less fortunate
To love reading
To hostess a party
To love the out of doors
To appreciate the Arts
To welcome newcomers
To have manners
I have her green thumb and color sense. I can grow just about any plant with very little effort. I have a knack with color with practically a photographic memory of colors.
To some extent, I inherited my singing voice from Mom. When she was around eleven years old, she was asked to sing Japan’s national anthem for the Emperor of Japan for some public gathering. I guess she forgot the words. She never forgot that or forgave herself. What a pity. At the time, no one knew that was too much pressure to place on a young person. Whenever I see a child singing the Star Spangled Banner at a sporting event, I think of Mom.
Mom wasn’t always the nicest person. She could be mean and spiteful. At the time no one knew about the benefits of anti-depressants or seeking counseling. Both were taboo. If they had, I think a lot of Mom’s emotional and self esteem issues could have been helped. She had a tendency to pit her kids against one another which only pushed us to be more competitive with one another. To this day, my brother and my sister and I are splintered with many deep seeded hurts. We can’t seem to get past them. Maybe she didn’t mean to do this to us, but it’s a common comp,ain’t among us,
The good thing is I have broken that pattern with my own daughters and step son and they are all the best of friends with each other.
I hoped I’d have a chance to speak to Mom about myself and what I’ve learned about life. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to do so. I’m a very driven person who needs a constant creative challenge set before me. Mom didn’t understand that about me. In fact, I think it intimidated her. I know she compared her stay-at-home life with my sister and I and our working mother lives. She appeared regretful about her decisions, but aren’t we all at times?
I’m sorry to say she could never teach me to knit. Lord, I’m terrible at it!
Or sculpt! She was quite good. I inherited her hand sculpture which has no wire armature within it. It is perfectly balanced. We have moved twice in the last eight years and one of the first things I think of is Mom’s hand and whether it made through another move. It sits in my office and I love it.
I love fine china and art. I don’t especially like drinking hot tea, but I love to collect tea pots. That’s Mom’s influence. She prided herself on her English ancestry, drinking tea with cream. I don’t have enough walls for all of the art work I inherited from her nor for my own collection. That’s her influence. “One can never have too much art,” she’d say.
One really funny thing Mom would do is collect rocks for her garden in our trips. I sat in the middle of the front seat of our red truck when we traveled. Whenever we stopped for a break, Mom would go rock hunting. She’d put a newly discovered rock in the truck so gleeful at her discovery. Whenever she wasn’t looking, Dad would have me sneak a precious “precious” one to him and he’d drop it out!
She never bought decent snacks for us, either. As a young girl, I would arrive home and hungrily search the kitchen for anything to eat. Usually, there was some old gross shrunken up apple in the fridge or maybe a piece of moldy cheese. One time, I found the baking chocolate and took a hunk thinking it was the sweetened kind. One bite and well, I’ve never recovered.
My mother was quite a character. She could be very kind and generous and on a good day, silly and funny. I try to remember those times on Mothers Day. It only seems fair, respectful and appropriate. It’s the least I can do. You know?
Happy Mothers Day Mommas