A Tribute to Mom

mother'sdayToday is Mother’s Day is the US and, like many other people, I would like to a little write about my mother. As I’ve mentioned before, she passed a little over 4 years ago. I’ll be honest with you, I still miss her a lot. I mean, it does get a little easier, but you never really get over it. I know, I’m sorry, it is a little grim. It’s the truth, though.

The very first memory I have of my mom, I was still at that stage where I slept in a crib. I was standing in that crib, watching her put on make-up. I think I was still too young to really think in words, but I do remember having strong feelings for my mom, even then.

As I grew up, I remember cuddling with her on the couch until we both fell asleep. Pretend upsets from her over my mud-covered clothes after a day spent playing outside. Even older, there were impromptu, barefoot dances in the kitchen. Lots of those kinds of dances.

Like with many mother-daughters, we didn’t always get along. There were times when I just didn’t want to talk to her and I’m sure she had those moments too. But I knew, no matter what, my mom would be there for me when I needed her. And I did need her a lot.

And I still do. Before she passed away, I honestly thought we’d have another 20 years together at least. My grandfather, her father, had lived to see 93, so I assumed that she would get close to that age as well. But it wasn’t meant to be.

So now, when coworkers or friends talk about their moms, I tell them to cherish each moment that they are fortunate enough to have. No matter how frustrating their moms can be, at least they still can have those moments, as well as those wonderful moments.

On this day, and any other day, try to spend as much time as you can with your mom.

Down Memory Lane

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about my childhood and the time that I spent with my grandparents. I was pretty lucky to be able to spend a lot of time with both sets and experience a wide variety of things that most kids didn’t.

For instance, I occasionally went to church with one pair or the other. My maternal grandfather was a Methodist minister while my paternal grandparents were Primitive Baptist. (I’ll leave it to you to do some googling, if you’d like) As a child, I noticed very little difference in either church. What I remember most fondly were the lunches. It wasn’t an every Sunday thing and it was glorious! They all called it “dinner on the green” and everybody brought at least one dish. Now these were small churches but not THAT small, and being Southern, you know there was a LOT of food, huge stone tables piled with it…and a lot of dessert too.

There were a lot of little things that made impressions on me too. My dad’s mom baked a lot. She made the BEST biscuits ever, and never measured a damn thing. She was the grandmother that did the most “crafty” things: baking, sewing, preserving. And for her, it stemmed from a survival instinct. Remember, my grandparents grew up in Depression Era America and this set wasn’t exactly flush with money. After my dad’s dad died, they found some money hidden inside his mattress.

Even “smaller” memories: vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup, watching my grandfather sharpen saw blades, sitting underneath my grandmother’s quilt frame while she worked. They had a kid’s swing in the backyard that was a double seater, so that two kids would be facing each other. Do you know the kind? Well one day, my grandmother put a board across the seats, then a blanket over that, and I laid on it while she swung me gently.

My other grandparents had a garden in the backyard and blackberry bushes all around their house. The garden had beans (can’t remember what kind), yellow squash, cucumbers, as well as a fig tree, a couple of plum trees, and at least one or two peach trees. I’m sure there was more in the garden but I can’t remember any more than that. I learned how and when to pick those vegetables, but the fig tree scared me a little…not sure why.

After my mom’s mom passed, my grandfather started feeding the stray cats around his house…and acquired a LOT of kittens as well. He had a small screened in porch and the cats would come in, whenever they wanted to, to have some food or water. And I’m not kidding when I tell you that there had to be at least a dozen of them!

I do have a lot more memories of them than this, but I thought I’d share just a few. So let’s hear from yall out there. Were you able to spend time with your grandparents growing up?