Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day Thoughts

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. Frankly, I'm happy with a card and going out to dinner--even if I'm the one paying for it.

My own mother died about three years ago at the age of 97. Her mind was sharp until the end, her body was worn out.

I was raised during the time when most mom's stayed home. During the war years (I'm speaking of World War II), mom figured out how to feed us even though she had to use food stamps, still managed to bake birthday cakes and her famous Conga cookies. She grew a Victory garden and fed us vegetables out of it. When she went to school for PTA meetings wearing a hat, dress, stockings (even though they were hard to come by).

My dad rode his bike to work--long way--so we could save our gas coupons for going to church, mother's weekly grocery shopping trips, our Friday nights at the movies, and for our summer vacations at Bass Lake.

We made trips to downtown L.A. on the streetcar to shop at basement bargain sales and to take advantage of free programs for kids.

Mom cooked our breakfast, packed our school lunches--we always had the same thing--1/2 a baloney sandwich and 1/2 cheese sandwich, 3 cookies, a raw carrot, and a piece of fruit. Dinners were more exciting though sometimes we just had beans--loved them.

Back in that time, if you misbehaved you got spanked. Mother's instrument of punishment was a yard stick that you could get free at paint and lumber stores. She didn't use it often--it was only when you broke a big rule. One of the "big" rules was getting home by 5 p.m. every night for supper. Otherwise we were free to roam where we pleased. Lying was another reasons for a swat with the yard stick. Didn't happen often--but it did happen.

Mom was always a prayer warrior. Though I know she prayed for us when we were kids, she really prayed after we grew up and she worried about us straying. When kids started arriving, she prayed for each one faithfully. Oh how she loved the babies.

Our first was born 3000 miles away. When I got pregnant, mom went to work for the first time in her life to save the money to buy the gas to make the trip. My first (and her first grandchild) was always her favorite--everyone knew it.

When she was in her last year of life, that granddaughter and husband took her on a two week motor home trip. She never got out of the motor home, but she had a great time looking out the window, playing board games and reminiscing as the went to all of her favorite haunts in Southern California.

The summer before, my sis and hubby where she lived took a vacation, and I went to care for her. We had a great time and I cooked all her favorite foods--the ones we used to have as special treats during our growing up years--meals my sister never cooked.

My sis celebrated her 50th anniversary on a week long cruise to Mexico and paid for all of her kids, grandkids, and greats to go. Mom went on that trip, so I went too along with one my daughters. I'm so glad I did because I was able to spend some really quality time with mom.

I miss her, especially with Mother's Day coming. I miss the letters she wrote me at least three times I week. I miss spending time with her. But I know she's exactly where she wants to be, in Heaven with my dad, and my oldest son who passed away with cancer and all of her many relatives and friends.

Happy Mother's Day Mom. Thank you for everything you did for me throughout your life.

Marilyn a.k.a. F. M. Meredith

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