Lessons learned from mom

Let me tell you a little bit about my mom.  She had a strong personality and felt a deep sense of wrong and right.  Her joy was her family and was strongly protective of her little clan.  If you fell under mom’s umbrella she was your fan.  I’m not claiming she was perfect but she did her best to give her best for her family.  Here are a just a few of the things I was fortunate to be taught by mom. Continue reading

Four Angels Divided

angelMy mom was an artist.  As an artist, she found many outlets for her creativity.  One outlet was painting ceramics.  Her dad and stepmother owned a ceramic shop and she helped out.  Along the way, her family were benefactors of ceramic projects big and small.  I remember her painting four angel ornaments for the tree.  One boy and three girls, or in other words, one for my brother and one for my sisters and me.

For years the angels hung on her Christmas tree every year.  Her little angels painted with love by our guardian angel.

Every year for thirty some years her angels hung on momma’s tree.

But all things come to an end.  This Christmas, the angels were divided and each hung on different trees in two states and three towns.  Mom’s angels are separated by distance but still connected by memory and love.

In Mom’s Steps

“Am I like grandma?” I used to ask my mom ad nauseam. “Tell me about grandma.” My grandma T died before any of her grandchildren were born and I missed having a grandma. Without any consideration for my mom having to bring up memories about her beloved mother I used to beg her to tell me about grandma T. In my defense, I didn’t understand and couldn’t comprehend how sometimes talking about the deceased can be a painful experience. That was a lesson I could only learn by unfortunate experience. So when I was young, I pleaded for information about this absent woman whose blood ran through my veins. I guess I yearn for connections and I needed to know if grandma would have liked her granddaughter. In a way, I am still searching for connections. Continue reading

Sweet dreams

Occasionally I dream of my mom.  I can no longer see her face but I can feel her presence.  I simply know it’s her.  Lately, when mom does come to visit in a dream it’s with the “she’s not really gone.  She didn’t die.  She was not as sick as we thought,” theme.  I get this hope inside me.  You know, like the hope Rafiki gives to Simba about Mufasa.  Simba chases after the aged simian and the audience thinks, “Oh, I hope Mufasa is really alive!”

I wake up as disappointed as Simba when he looks at his reflection in the pool of water.  Mom is gone.

When she does make an appearance in my dreams she usually talks to the family.  Or helps us out.  We tend to keep her pretty busy.  Some things never change.

I experienced a rather stressful weekend last week.  Not bad stress just busy stress.  I kept busy from quitting time on Friday to Sunday afternoon.  At times, I felt overwhelmed.  Sometimes inadequate.  I questioned if I am really cut out to do the job asked of me.  Thankfully, I was so busy I didn’t have much time to devote to self-doubt.

By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around I felt exhausted.  I gave my best and prayed it was good enough.  That night I had a momma-dream.  This time we just hugged.  It was a long embrace that lasted until I woke up.

It was enough.

I received the strength I needed to face my week.  Yeah, I got this.

I’m not superstitious…much

calendarShe looked at me with wide eyes and an air of expectancy.  Normally, I would have agreed with her.  In fact, I had waited for over 20 years for an opportunity such as this.  But I couldn’t do it.  I could not side with my sister-in-law.

“RH,” my sister-in-law, CC, reiterated in case I didn’t hear her the first time, “will not flip a calendar early.”

Yeah, so?

She wanted me to join forces with her in an effort to mock my brother.  Of course she thought I would be an ally in her cause since I have led many efforts to mock my older brother ever since…well, forever.  It’s a little sister’s prerogative and responsibility and I always take my job seriously.  At least, this one.   Otherwise an older brother’s ego gets too huge and becomes too unbearable to even associate with.  It’s all in the Little Sister’s Handbook for Survival.  I can send you a copy if you’d like.

Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Momma!

Today would be my mom’s 71st birthday.  You may be aware we lost mom last December 2nd.   If you have followed my blog at all the past year, you may have seen numerous posts on grief (see the Sad Days Tab under categories) as I worked through my mourning period.  This particular post is not like those.  This post will be a reflection of what I learned from one good momma.  It’s a celebration of good memories of a good life.

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Googling Away

I hate making decisions.  Life would be a lot easier for me and probably more enjoyable for other people if I didn’t have to make a choice.  Ever.  My decision making process is typically a three step process.  First, I agonize and worry about choosing wisely.  Second, after I make a decision I worry if I made the right choice.  This is almost always followed closely by the third step, wishing I chose differently.  Choices could very well be the death of me.  Okay, that’s a little dramatic.  Let’s just sum up, I really prefer not having to choose.

My friend Google is at the ready with any question I may have even if it’s just to settle idle curiosity.  For example, I’ve already googled Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski.  Yes, AMC is playing its Can’t Get Enough of…Crocodile Dundee I & II this week.  This means I have watched the same part of Crocodile Dundee II for the last three nights.  If I piqued your curiosity, Paul is about 20 years older than Linda and they have been married since 1990.

Trivial pursuits aside, Google has become a valuable tool for me to make informed (or misinformed) decisions.  Always at the ready, it’s a sophisticated 8-Ball.  It does its best to give me a plethora of options.  Although, sometimes I could do without the snooty attitude the way it corrects me.  “Did you mean…”  Is that really necessary?  If it’s smart enough to figure out an optional way of saying what I typed then couldn’t it be gracious enough to discreetly fix my error?  I should think so.

It is ever at the ready and with my iPhone easily accessed.  I can ask “What should I have for dinner?”   Sure, I still have to make a choice but it’s a matter of scanning through a page of options.  Let’s be honest, I’m easily swayed by the more alluring websites.  That cuts my decision making time by at least half. 

The other day I test drove a couple of vehicles.  I gave my phone to my niece and by the end of the drive we had an idea of the safety ratings and consumer comments.   I chose not to buy either vehicle – and I felt pretty good about it.

While planning my vacation I asked, “What is there to do in Cody?”  Before I even left for my trip I discovered the answer was, “Not a whole heck of a lot.”  It told me the route we should take and even how much I could expect to pay for gas.

“I need a job,” and “Where should I live?” are two recurring questions I like to ask.  At a moment of desperation, I even typed, “I need a life.”  No matter the question, there’s always a page of possible solutions.  And usually a correction – “Did you mean wife?”  (sigh) No, I meant life.

Google has become a verb.  Just like Xerox is synonymous with making copies, Google means researching online.  It doesn’t matter which search engine is used, “You can find anything you need by googling it.”  Too bad Bing wasn’t first because I’d rather say, “You can find anything you need by binging it.”  Oh well. 

The younger generation might pause one day and reflect, “How did the older generation ever find anything without Google?”  I had the original Google.  It was called, Mom.  My mom happened to be one the smartest people I’ve ever known.  Unfortunately, thanks to hereditary roulette, I received her temperament instead of her smarts.  Dang me!  At least with Google I now have a fighting chance in making decisions.  And pretending I’m smart.