|My favorite picture of mom|
I'm not sure why my mom is all over my mind today. It's not her birthday or the anniversary of her death but for some reason I'm missing her terribly. Odd & random things keep popping into my mind:
My mom was 15 years younger than my dad. I always knew that it would be up to me to take care of one or both of them when they were old. I figured I'd move at least one of them into my house when they didn't need to be alone anymore. Because of the age difference I truly always figured it would be mom. But it was daddy. Mom passed away in 2003, daddy in 2009. I was blessed to have daddy in my home from 2007 til 2 weeks before he left this world. I miss them both horribly.
This post is a mom thing because I can't stop thinking about her today.
On Monday I bought 2 donuts at the grocery store. My mom loved donuts & she loved the grocery store. I have one of the donuts on the cabinet today & was wishing she could enjoy it.
In May, 1997, Memorial Day weekend, mom & drove from Spur to Flower Mound to spend the weekend with her brother. I remember her saying it was the first time she'd ever spent the night in any of siblings' homes. My aunt & uncle had a beautiful home with a guest suite with a bedroom & bathroom. It was mostly very comfortable but mom didn't sleep well in a strange place & I remember her getting up at 5am everyday (not really unusual...she was an early bird). She just wasn't comfortable. I was upstairs in the grandkids room. I remember as we left my uncle had us follow him out of the subdivision & point us in the right direction. We put gas in the car & stopped at Boston Market to get lunch to eat on the road. I remember we had taken the back roads & pulled on the side of the road at a pullout that had a wooden table & a garbage can only & we ate our Boston Market lunch. It was so simple & so perfect.
For the record I remember the time because she & daddy left the next morning for Flagstaff where my sister Cathy was dying of cancer. She died 5 days later.
For clarification, we live in Texas & Cathy lived in Arizona. We knew her cancer was back but she went to great lengths to hide how bad it was. She had turned away from chemo & other traditional treatments toward some alternative treatments. Chemo hadn't worked last time. I don't blame her for trying something else but I also wonder if it sped things up. I'll never know. The last time I'd talked to her was the Sunday morning before Memorial day weekend. I knew she was weak & she was coughing alot. But the last thing she told me was that she thought she'd come to Texas to let mom take care of her & I told her I thought that was a good idea. By the time mom & daddy headed to Arizona the Tuesday after Memorial day she was completely uncommunicative. Things happened mean & they happened fast. I add this because I don't want anyone to thing we ignored the situation.
One of the things mom liked was going with us to gamble. We went to Vegas at least once & to Laughlin a couple of times. The first I remember Cathy had a free room & had come with her friend Barbara, her 2 daughters & one son in law. Then there was mom & me. Cathy's plan was for all of us to stay in room. With one bathroom. Um, no. Not happening. I remember forking over an extra $10 for a room for mom & me. I know how absurd that sounds but I didn't know the price. I'd have paid $100. I was and was not suprised at the same time that Cathy hadn't just got another room. And I remember Cathy & I were playing blackjack while mom was nearby playing a quarter slot machine. All of a sudden, she was standing beside us. We wondered what was wrong. Nothing--she'd won 2500 quarters. I never saw her that excited, before or after. Every time we passed it she'd point at the slot machine and say "That's MY machine!!" Another magic moment.
My mom had to quit school at 16 when her mom died. She took care of her dad & little brothers, even after she married my dad at 17 & had 2 babies of her own by age 19. She was a homemaker who had a couple of jobs in her life but mostly did not work outside the home. We lost my sister Jo in 1970 & mom & daddy raised her son. After I'd gone to college, she took a job at a sewing factory in town for money of her own. And later she got her dream job. It'll sound small but to her it was the world. She worked in an office everyday from 9-3 & handed out used clothing & helped people fill out government forms. And on Tuesdays she drove a van to Lubbock & took Spur people to appointments. She loved every minute of it. After a couple of years, she had a light stroke & couldn't drive anymore so she had to resign. She later had some light dementia issues but losing the job was the final straw. I truly believe that losing Cathy bent her, losing the job broke her. She never really recovered & her health declined. She died February 3, 2003.
It's pretty eerie sometimes. Sometimes as I sleep I think I feel her arms around me & telling me it will be alright. And I always believe her.