My Mother’s House


Thinking of my mother…a post written long ago in 2013

Yesterday, I said, “Good-Bye,” to my mother’s house. The one she and my father shared for over twenty years. Made of white stucco with a red tile roof, and a lovely front portico hovering over the dual wooden door. To all others, it’s a typical ‘Arizona’ house, but to me, it will forever remain my mother’s house.

My parents moved to this home sometime in 1989. I was a proud realtor back then and sold it to them. It wasn’t far from where I lived, just around the corner. My little family of three lived close enough to see. My parents followed us from their home in Michigan to escape the cold and the poor economy at the time. There were other reasons too. They had relatives who lived there, my mother’s sisters and an aunt, and my younger brother too.

I knew this day would come, and it’s time for it now. My mother’s been gone over three years. My father didn’t rush, he grieved as he should. Sand passed through the hour-glass, and things settled down as I knew they would. This is the last step in the order of things. My dad is ready now. He has moved on with his life and has a new place to go. I am happy for him. My siblings are too. He is 81 years old. What a treat it is to see him laugh and play, to sing and dance his early night away!

There is a sign in my mother’s front yard that says, “For Sale.” An offer to buy is being negotiated today. I may never step inside my mother’s house again on any given day. I knew it yesterday. I walked slowly through each and every room, soaking up memories of the past. Glancing up and down, brushing floors with fingers, tenderly touching walls with warm cheeks, and gazing at mirrors with pictures only I can see.  Memories everywhere….  The food she cooked, the holidays we spent, our children who slept on the floor in front of the fireplace. Oh, the fun we had!  The lemon pie she baked from scratch, the bird bath in the back, the wind chimes singing on the patio, and the blooming yellow roses planted everywhere.  They were her favorites flowers you know.  And, if I close my eyes ever so tight, I can almost see her there. She’s bending down to smell a new bloom or nipping a fresh bud to place in her favorite aqua-blue vase. She’s truly beautiful looking this way.  Always smiling at her carefully tended roses with the sun warming her precious porcelain face.

Memories everywhere….Sights and scents. The food she cooked, the holidays we spent, my children together with cousins who slept on the floor in front of a roaring holiday fireplace. Oh, the fun we had! The lemon pie she baked from scratch, the bird bath in the back, wind chimes singing on the patio, and the blooming yellow roses planted everywhere. They were her favorites flowers you know.  And, if I close my eyes ever so tight, I can almost see her there. Mother is kneeling down to smell a new bloom or nipping a fresh bud to place in her favorite aqua-blue vase. She’s truly beautiful. Always smiling at her carefully tended roses with the sun warming her precious porcelain face.

The big front door is closing now. As the old bronze lock clicks tight, I  shall forever be at my mother’s house, surrounded by yellow roses, soaking up the smile on her beautiful porcelain face…………

The Perfect Rose

Memories of Missing and Loving…..


The earliest memory of my mother ironically is of missing her. Like I do today. She was and is away. As a child of four, I wasn’t able to reason, or understand why. I couldn’t even try.

A tiny house of six hundred square feet in pale pink. I remember the kitchen having black speckles on the floor and there was a polished white sink. Frilly curtains of sheer at the window above. Two bedrooms, I think. My little brother and I shared a room so small our fingers touched from one bed of maple lacquer to the next.

It was Christmas morning, and Mother was not there. She was in the hospital cradling a new baby sister who was born on the Eve before. Snapshots are in my mind of sitting in warm flannel near a perfect tree decorated delightfully. Full and bright in colored lights, it brushed the whole of the room. Presents galore. A galloping black rocking horse on red springs for my brother, plus a Chatty Cathy doll dressed in a blue cotton dress for me. She was like magic! Pull a ring of plastic white and she talked to me. Yes, really talked to me! Daddy and Grandpa were there too, but no Mommy to see.

My mother was a wonderful mother. Not a perfect mother but she did her very best. She raised five children, one who nearly died at birth, and struggled thereafter. Mother coped silently with severe anxiety and depression, yet pushed through to better herself personally and professionally. In spite of only a tenth-grade education, she surpassed every goal she ever set for herself and was probably the hardest working woman I ever knew. She was beautiful and creative, kind to others and loved all people.

That was then, this is now. Mother’s Day is nearly upon us. Yet, today the same feeling of missing my mother is still deep inside of me…almost tangible. It’s as if I’m a child of four kneeling at the foot of the Christmas tree whose mother is away again. Except this time, I’m all grown up. She’s not coming back. The painful perception of abandonment. For whatever reason perhaps this feeling has never left me?

The rocking horse under the Christmas tree has jumped from his springs of red to ride out to pastures of green where my mother rests in peace today. Chatty Cathy hopped upon his saddle to perhaps watch over her. Pull a string behind her neck to hear three sweet words never to forget,“I Love You.”

Happy Mother’s Day

*Dedicated to all mothers, particularly those who suffer from depression, anxiety or any other mental disorder.mom and dad

*Mother and Father. My favorite picture of them, circa early 1970’s

Celebrating Mother


rose black good

 

Five years forever whispers in my ear.  Five…five….five…five.  Warm breaths with tender lips barely brushing cheeks.  Last kisses of inevitable goodbyes.

Life-time sentiments of love between a mother and daughter.  I remember gently climbing into her over-sized bed to fluff pillows of down.  Wanting to snuggle close.  Careful now. Fragility.  With every movement of the mattress her body cried out in pain.  An agony of my own if you will yet one I prayed to never know.

Clasping hands, hers was tiny.  Blue-white from lack of oxygen, but soft and smooth. The feeling of velvet with a faint hint of lavender lotion.  I held fingers to the rose-colored lamp under the tip of my nose to breathe in the scent of her, wanting to remember it always and forever.

Looking around the room, Mother reminded me of one of her treasured porcelain baby dolls protected behind doors of glass.  So infantile she was lying in a near fetal position in order to be comfortable.  If only I could do the same for her, much like her beloved cabinet full of heart, http://wp.me/p41md8-14b.

Still, we were awarded brief moments of heartfelt joy.  Memories of thankfulness never to be replaced.   Mother’s head resting upon my shoulder while movies of color played before our eyes of four.  Laughter.  Sharing cookies and cocoa.  Crumbs in the bed.  Warm, labored breaths upon my neck.  Closeness and bonding came full circle.  Sheets of cool cotton beneath chins of two.  Understanding. ComfortAcceptanceLovePeace.  We had it all during that those last few days before she was ready to go.

When lids opened from brief respite, it was a time for conversations in the shadows of the night.  Insignificant at first, we danced around the truth before the music stopped.  “Take care of Daddy…”  Near the end of my mother’s life this was her main concern.  She feared the love of her own would be left alone.  Squeezing her hand lightly, no more words were needed.  She had her answer then.  She rested.

Prologue:

It’s ironic that today, five years after my mother’s passing my husband and I are attending a neighborhood potluck of Thanksgiving.  Before realizing the date, I searched for a special recipe to cook, one that I knew my friends would enjoy.  Digging into mother’s mixed box of handwritten 3X5 cards, I finally discovered exactly what was meant to be.  Pulling the recipe from a clear plastic container, there was her familiar handwriting, scripted in wooden pencil.   Now faded, the yellowed index card is curled in the left hand corner where it’s nearly torn.  Splashed upon it are droplets of tomato sauce, dried from my mother’s days of cooking long ago.

I’m celebrating Mother today by sharing her recipe with all of you.  An unusual one perhaps, but delicious!

Wieners in Tomato Sauce (I think my mother simply made up a name)

1 lb. wieners

1 large can diced tomatoes

2 slices of chopped sweet onion

1 large chopped green pepper

½ c sugar

Dash of salt & pepper

Bring all of the above to boil-then turn down flame & thicken with 2 T mixed flour & water.  Simmer approximately two hours, covered. *Serves 4-6

**I tend to cook in larger quantities, doubling or tripling the recipe (except for the sugar) and putting it in my crock pot to cook the whole day through.

Recipe

 

Mother


Her love is like and island

In life’s ocean, cast and wide,

A peaceful, quiet shelter

From the wind, and rain, and tide.

‘Tis bound on the north by Hope,

By Patience on the west,

By tender Counsel on the south,

And on the east by Rest.

Above it like a beacon light

Shine faith, and truth, and prayer:

And through the changing scenes of life,

I find a haven there.”

Author Unknown

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Happy Mother’s Day to All My Readers

In Honor of Mother’s Day Week: Intuition


Women know 

The way to rear up children, (to be just).

They know a simple, merry, tender knack

Of trying sashes, fitting baby shoes,

And stringing pretty words that make no sense,

And kissing full sense into empty words.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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