Those of you who follow this blog know that my Mother died last September, after a battle with Alzheimer's. The last two years of her life were painful for her as well as her children. Before that, Mom was still Mom and as Mother's Day comes around again, I find myself remembering the good years and letting the bad years slip through my memory with little impact.
Mom was a wise woman. When we had trouble with relationships, she had the answer, although she never gave advice until we asked. When we didn't know what to do when life pounded us as it will now and then, she set our attitudes back on track. She was calm, logical and loving in all her wisdom.
She raised 8 kids on a ranch hand's salary, but she never complained about that. Instead, she rose to the challenge with dignity and energy. Wild food, shopping skills and knowing what was important and what wasn't, allowed us to live high on the hog when we didn't have one. Everything we had was used to the utmost.
Being poor, people gave us things. Clothes, mostly, and often clothes that no one, including us, wanted. Mom was gracious in accepting them and then she made them into something we did want and need. Sweater sleeves were made into mittens, rags into rugs, skirts into aprons.
Mom was shy all of her life. She never went places she didn't have to go, but the school Christmas program was a have-to. I always thought she was so pretty, sitting there alongside Daddy with a small smile on her face.
After I grew up and got married, I still turned to her, as all her kids did, for grounding in reality. She never once spoke against any of our spousal choices. Her daughters in law called her "Mom."
Everyone respected her. I'm not sure how that happened; I can't isolate any one thing she did to cause it. Daddy told us one time, "Your Momma's a lady. Don't you ever forget that." And she was.
I'm not the only one of the kids who turn to the phone to call her when life gets the best of me before I realize she's not there at the other end any more. She is still "there" in my mind, though. There are some things death cannot take away from you.
So, on this first Mother's Day after you've passed over, Mom, I know you're waiting for us. I just want to say Happy Mother's Day. I love you.