Mom. So much to remember. Mom was fun loving and people pleasing. She was impulsive and emotional. She was very close to her sister and her mother. As children, we spent a lot of time with both of them. Until I was 5, we lived only a few streets up from grandma…her mother. We would walk over to visit and always had lots of fun. Her sister, our Aunt Bobbi, had a lake and we would spend summer days swimming and winter afternoons skating.
Those were the days when kids played outside most of the day. So, we spent our days playing around cornfields, or in our big backyard where we would play whiffle ball or in our sandbox….playing with neighborhood kids. Mom didn’t know a stranger, so we knew the Cobbs, the Wilsons and others on our street. We got to know them as playmates and friends. When the day was over, mom would call us in for supper. We always had a meat, some kind of potato, vegetable and bread. My dad was very traditional when it came to eating. Mom never had me in the kitchen to learn to cook. Not once. But she did have me and my brothers clean up afterwards. We also had chore lists to accomplish on Saturdays. But we were always allowed to watch cartoons first.
She was always involved in church. From Sunshine girls, to Sunday School to Junior Church. She always had a great big bible and took notes during church. She thought she could sing but she honestly wasn’t the best singer but she did sing alto in choir.
She used to “play” the piano and sing Happy Birthday to us on our birthdays. It was a crazy way to wake up. When we misbehaved, she whipped us with whatever she found on hand…a hairbrush, a hot wheels track or fly swatter (ouch). She allowed us to have a dog, which we loved, and was on our side against my dad about having cats. We eventually won and he secretly adored a few of them.
She had to work when we started school. She worked as a school cafeteria cook so she could be home when we got home from school. She was often tired after working and having to come home and cook and take care of all of us. I wish that as a child, I would have realized that. I often just thought she was moody. I understand so much more now.
When we were older, she was very faithful to attend all of our extracurricular events. She was at our ball teams, our musicals, or whatever we were doing. And she was our biggest fan!
She was very encouraging to me. She always told me how beautiful she thought I was, told me how I could do anything I set my mind to and thought I was super talented…whether I was or not…in her mind, I was all that.
She was very supportive toward dad. We visited his relatives a lot. That involved traveling and keeping up with them. She was very willing to do that. She went to his softball games and followed his lead spiritually, even when she didn’t always agree. She sometimes let her feelings be known, which went dad, did not go very well. But they always worked things out eventually.
She was very playful. She played a lot of practical jokes on dad, some he did not always appreciate. But we thought they were funny.
She never knew a stranger. She would travel to my house to come to my Ladies Retreats and everyone in my church got to know her and thought she was the greatest ever. When I was a child, we would to to the grocery store and she would talk and talk to the check out person. I would always ask who the lady was, thinking that they must have known each other with all the talk. She never knew who they were. She was just naturally friendly to all.
I know it was hard on her for me to move away. She didn’t give me a hard time….too much. I feel so sorry for her now. But I was grateful my brothers were near. I miss her phone calls!
When dad was gone, she missed him terribly and I think she suffered more than we knew. She continued to be faithful and to keep up with her kids and grandkids. We were all shocked when she got so sick and passed away. But I think she really wanted to be with dad.
So we have many memories about her…which is appropriate because her life motto was “Make memories.” She made our childhood a great one. Writing this reminded me of that. I miss her very much. Thanks mom!!