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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

For Mary...my mother...on her birthday.

   

  There is simply no place I'd rather be than with you the third week of October.    
     It's not a coincidence that you were born as God chose to change the colors of the leaves on the trees to breathtaking and placed a fresh chill in the air. This time of reds and yellows and pumpkins has always been my very very favorite. It's my big deep breath of, "Aaaaahhhhhh."
   It's when God chose to put you on the earth to become my Mother.
     October...your birthday.
        I've written about you often over the years. As memories came I pecked away at the computer keys so I could remember and pass it on. And so now, for the sake of time I'll cut and paste some of my words.

     "My mother spoke through straight pins held between her lips as she bent over a pattern on the floor with scissors in her hand. This memory soothed and comforted me in a way I did not expect. On her knees in the living room,pinning and cutting. And it was her foot I saw, and her machine I heard, as Chandler sat at my kitchen table and began to sew. I was suddenly filled with the excitement and anticipation of the new dress my Mom was making for me. Her love behind the sewing machine formed me as a little girl and is coming full circle back to me as a mother."

     "Mary, my mother, is writing down her story. She is being strong and brave and she sends me pages that make me weep. My tears are of joy and of sadness. She tells of truths that have not been spoken to me before. She is doing it because I asked her to. I love her for it. 
     My friends thought my mother was a movie star. She was beautiful, and I didn't know that she was broken, but, "Fragile...Handle with care" was stamped across her spirit even then. Dad knew it, and a part of me did too. 
     She was given four babies to love and care for and we were her life. She played with us, read to us, sang to us,  and she sewed. 
     She made clothes for herself like the ones Jackie Kennedy wore, but she was prettier. She made Easter dresses and school clothes for my sisters and for me. Ron was her first. Her only son and she made him a blazer. It was tan and I remember thinking, "How did she do that?" I was born 11 months after my brother. Lori followed two years after me, and two years after Lori, came our baby, Kaylynn. 
     I love to dance and sing because I saw my mothers joy in that place. I love stories because Mom didn't just read, she made them come alive. I love the way I love because my mother showed me how. 

     Mom...You were my example. I know what a Mother's heart is and what it does because of you. You gave me something precious that I was able to give to my own children. The precious things of childhood go deep in me because your were my Mom. 
     Thank you for music. My childhood was full of it because of you. I remember album after album being placed on the turn table. Andy Williams, Glen Campbell, Peter Paul and Mary. 
     The other day I just burst out singing a song for Jude.  It came out of nowhere, and yet, I knew every word and note. "And the Red Red Robin goes bop bop boppin' along.” Jude wanted me to sing it over and over and over.  ReAnnon  finally “googled” the words. It had come from a 1960’s “Sing along with Mitch Miller” album.  
"Oh, Mitch Miller."  Barbara Streisand, The Sound of Music. All of it, such a gift.
     And I don't remember a single night that you didn’t have dinner on the table for the six of us.  Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, pot-roast, meatloaf, creamed corn.  All of these still comfort my soul. And I remember the expensive jars of maraschino cherries that you'd bring home just for me when you had a little extra money for groceries.  No one but you could have given me these things, so from your Mother’s heart to mine and back…  I love you!

    And so Mom...
    Time...it goes by so quickly. You'll be 80 soon and I'll be 60. So crazy to think about and yet, it's true. You were just a girl when you held me for the first time. So much life. So much love. So many memories. But know that my best...it came from you.
     Happy birthday Mom. You and Fall. My favorites. I love you!