The anniversary of my mother’s death was June 23rd. I simply cannot believe it’s been 20 years since my mother passed away. Cancer is not prejudice it will attack anyone at any time.
Having such a hard time with Asthma lately has brought back some dark memories of watching my mother fight to breathe…… Lung Cancer is an ugly way to die. If anyone who is reading this is a smoker, I beg you to stop. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, please think of those who love you.
OK…enough of this…it’s not how I want to remember my mother.
My mother was a marvel. She hated to cook, yet she could make a feast out of next to nothing. Growing up I didn’t realize we had less than others, I actually thought we were well off, but as I look back I realize just how much that was because of my mom. She was the ultimate in reusing things, and she’d never heard of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. She even had a compost pile, before anyone knew what to call it. She was raised that way, and now I live that way.
She was one of the only people in my life….before my husband….who accepted me just the way I am. She believed in me. I believe she is the only one who believed I would graduate from college. I did it! With honors! She was not surprised….I think she was the only one.
I went to a college that was just a little over an hour from home. One morning before my classes I talked to my mother and told her how much I missed her banana pudding, when I got out of class and came back to the dorms my mother was waiting, with a huge dish of banana pudding. She was always surprising me.
She grew up on a tobacco farm (so. of course. she became a smoker), she didn’t experience much while growing up, even when she was a young adult she really didn’t know much about the world. I don’t mean she was naive, she simply had the heart of a little girl, but the inner strength of Super Woman. We would go places and she would be so awed by the sites. I shared my love for art with her, and she soaked it in.
Amazingly, my mother never graduated high-school, dropping out in the 6th grade to care for her ailing grand mother, who was raising her. She also didn’t know ho
w to drive until after I was born, and didn’t have a pair of blue jeans until she was in her 50’s.
I remember going to the library with her. She was so intimidated at first, but soon she was deep in the words, looking up things she had been interested in, but never had the nerve to research them. I remember when she got a Camaro, this woman who didn’t drive until her late 30’s loved speed….but she was very careful. Until she backed into a mail truck, but that’s a different story.
She may have gotten her first pair of blue jeans when she was in her 50’s, but after that you couldn’t get her out of them. She loved jeans. Almost as much as she loved pizza!
I don’t think she had pizza until I was a girl. She was thrilled when the cheese would leave a string from the slice to her mouth. I once heard her say she could eat pizza hot or cold, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And she liked everything on it!
I mentioned how strong she was, one day on her way home she was attacked and she fought of the attacker by grabbing a rock and bashing him in the head. For days she looked in the paper to see if she had killed him. No notice, but the attacks in the area stopped. She always wondered. Her first marriage ended in tragedy. Her husband had a meeting one evening, he asked if she and their one year old daughter wanted to come, but my mom said she needed to wash diapers. Hours later she found out he hit ice on a bridge and ran off into the water. He drowned. My mother was suddenly a single mother, with no income. She moved in with her mother, went to cosmetology school, and started a life for her and her daughter. Then she met my dad…and the story goes on.
We had such a very special relationship. I do miss her ever moment. I’m so honored to have been raised by such an amazing woman!