I had told myself that I would write a blog about my mother for Mothers’ Day. I didn’t. So now I have to make up for it.
My mother was one of the most loving, caring people on Earth. But she didn’t take care of herself. That is one lesson she taught me. Take care of you first and then others. My mom never had nice clothes or shoes. She had the worst feet I’ve ever encountered. We Libra girls in this family all have really bad feet. My grandma lost one of her feet the week before she died. My mom had callouses an inch thick and she got an ulcer on one of them that took a whole year to heal up.
She took care of others and ignored herself. She was overweight but fed anyone who came near the house. We all had nice Easter and Christmas outfits but she wore the plain dresses that she always wore. I bought her an expensive suit once and she looked so lovely. We had to take one of the shoulder pads out and put it on the other side to make her look straight. I wish I still had a photo of her in that suit.
My mom could also say the funniest things in the world without knowing it. Once when my friend, George, was visiting and probably eating, we were discussing my going out with him that evening. I told him I didn’t have anything to wear. My mom asked George, “George, have you ever seen Wilma naked?”
I thought George would die. He turned so red in the face. I think I did go out with him but only once. He was funny and a joy to be with but not my type romantically.
Mother loved to sew and she made me a white skirt and was so very proud of it. Being the worse tomboy in the world, I slid into home the first time I wore it and ruined it completely. I apologized to my mom after I had my own children and they destroyed their brand new clothes.
My mom learned to drive a car at the same time that my brother did. For some out of the blue reason she wanted to get her driver’s license. I believe she failed a couple of times because she got so “nervous” with the teacher in the passenger seat. She did eventually get her license.
Another time in my life I had to put my beloved dog to sleep. I had the worst week of my life. And with two babies I was losing it fast. My mother took me aside and told me, “You made your decision about the dog. He is gone but your children are here and they need you. Just don’t think about it. Think about them.”
I dreamed about that dog for thirty years until I got another dog. Now of I dream of them both.
I was overwhelmed by the crowd at my mother’s funeral and visitation. People I hadn’t seen in years came up to me to tell me how much they loved my mom.
In her next life, I hope she is a princess because she deserves it.
This is a poem I wrote for my mother.
"You have pretty arms," she told me once.
She had always been overweight, so her arms were not.
There was strength in her arms and in her soul.
I was a gardener. Hoeing and shoveling make your arms pretty.
Sunshine -- a little tan doesn't hurt, does it?
Melanoma on that pretty arm.
She is gone now.
I remember the last time these pretty arms held her.
She cried because I was leaving and going far away back to my home.
I was crying because for the first time in my life, I saw her as OLD.
My pretty arms did not want to let go.
But they had to.
And now it is over and these pretty arms will never hold her again.