I have written a lot lately about how I am scared to die – not ready to go, too young, too unaccomplished of the things I dream about, et cetera. But in all that, I feel like I haven’t talked much about how grateful I am – for the life I have been given, for the people in it, for love and laughter, for good food…
The post I wrote the other day, about the Seahawks in “The Big Game™” started out to be very different. It was going to be this heart-felt remembrance of my Dad, of how he loved football with a sort of casual fervor, of how he would be appreciating this legendary year in the franchise, about how proud he would likely be to see that at least one of his daughters carried on the fandom in his absence.
Instead, it was just this lame conglomeration that ended too soon because my brain had already shut down and I had little to say about the things I wanted to…say. Ugh.
This post will probably be in the same vein, because YAY! It is another LIST post.
One of these days, I will talk about my mom and our relationship in great, teary-eyed detail. But that day is not today. Instead – here are ten things you probably did not know about my hero – my mother:
- She is a survivor. This woman buried her mom at age 8, suffered a truly wicked step-mother, endured several days of her first husband and son being “missing” before their bodies were discovered and she had to bury them, too. She lost her second husband before she was fifty and had to finish raising two (admittedly, pretty aweesome) daughters on her own, often working two jobs to do it. She had a heart attack and fell into a coma and languished for days and just when we had been advised to “pull the plug”, per her wishes, she woke up. She divvied up a lifetime of stuff and picked up her little self to move from the city (and state!) she had been born & raised in, and lived most of her life in, to move to Las Vegas with my sister. She kicks ass.
- She cannot say the word “shrimp” right. No, really. It is adorable and she’ll probably kill me if she ever reads this – but she makes Evie & I laugh when she says “schwimp”. Tee-hee!
- She has quit smoking at least a dozen times. It may not have taken, fully, and she may still puff on those cancer sticks… but she can always stick her mind to it and QUIT (at least for awhile).
- She cannot sit still long enough to watch a whole movie. Mostly. I mean, she has and can, but on average, she has to be doing something else. She’ll migrate in and out of the room, watching bits and pieces, but never just sitting for a whole movie. I think I get my own multi-tasky, fidgetiness from her.
- She loves Halls, especially in red. I suppose the flavor is meant to be cherry, but to me it always just tasted like menthol. Still, I hardly remember a day when I could not go into her purse, her nightstand, or her car, and find a handful of Halls lurking there. I imagine it is due to the smoking thing, but it was always a quirk and for some reason, I found it endearing then and I miss it now.
- She rarely leaves the house without full make-up and hair. Even now, when her hair and make-up styles are simpler, this woman knows how to look good. Perfectly coiffed with exquisitely sculpted brows: always. This woman brought propane curling irons on camping trips and never left the tent/RV before pulling herself together, in the morning. I always measure my own femininity against her – and come up lacking. When I was a young teenager, I started putting together co-ordinated outfits and doing my make-up. It was never ‘good enough’ and I felt like a clown, instead of beautiful like my mother, so in time… I stopped. Now, I only get ‘done up’ for special occasions and even then, I know I’m only half the lady my mother is.
- She is a natural care-taker. From her children, to her own father in his years of failing health, to a multitude of friends and even her own grandchild – she takes care of everyone. I often think she forgets to take care of herself, because she’s so busy being there for others, but she cannot help it I admire that about her; I am empathetic, but selfish.
- She is a bad-ass, independent woman. After my Dad died, she worked two or more jobs to keep us afloat. She bought a house on her own, she helped me get through my first year at CWU, she bought a car… these are things that lots of widows of her generation (and before) have trouble doing. They were used to being dependent. Not so for my mum – she figured out what she wanted and she made it happen. Go you, Miss J.
- She is a mad crafter. Growing up, there was nothing she could not create/craft/sew/fix. From these awesome crocheted bunny Easter baskets (made from the gallon jugs of syrup from McDonald’s and colorful yarn), to sock dolls, to baby clothes, to wooden garden decorations. She helped us make graveyard decor for our Halloween graveyard one year, and did our scary zombie make-up, too. She decorated the house for every holiday, making it all special for us. She baked and crafted and still worked on top of that. I admire her so greatly – and she did it all before Pinterest, hah!
- She is one of three or four people who actually read my book. And she doesn’t read much, not in general. But when she takes the time to read something, and recommend it – you know she actually cared. <3
- She loves. Okay, this is a throw-away, but it is no less true for being obvious. She does not seem to know how to do anything but love, and love wholly. If you see her with her grandchild, with her kitty, if you feel her hugs (and they are AWESOME), if you even just know her – you know this woman has a huge heart and that she is made to love. If there was ever anyone who doubted that there is a God and that He is Love… you only need to know my mother and you will have to question that, because it doesn’t seem possible for her to exist, if He does not.
In case you can’t tell, I love my mother. I am her biggest fan. And I hope she never doubts it, even if I am not the best daughter ever…
Note: Image is “The Blue List” by (Josie)