Posts Tagged ‘Mother’s Day’

Reimagining Mother’s Day

May 8, 2016

This is the second Mother’s Day since Mom died; in some ways it feels strange she is not here, in other ways it doesn’t feel strange at all.  Maybe because the last 3 or 4 years of her life were dominated by dementia and she wasn’t quite the Mom I have known my whole life.  I am glad I was there for her during the time she was alone after Dad died, he was her whole world and she missed him so much.  She didn’t really say much about how she felt about things, her generation didn’t talk about feelings or were as open as we seem to be today.

When we were kids, we wanted to give her breakfast in bed – that was considered very much a luxury. However, Mom was not a breakfast-in-bed kind of person – I think Dad convinced her to let us do it for her.  Sometimes I think it was hard for her to accept receiving from others, she was such a giver to everyone.  She enjoyed having people come over and she would feed them.  She liked the people we invited over, Mom was very comfortable in her own home rather than out somewhere.

I remember when the three of us girls and Dad went to buy her a black nightgown – what that sales lady thought one can only imagine.  I remember it as  fun and a little out of the ordinary.  It never occurred to us to think in terms of what Mom would like best, Madison Ave always told people what to do or give on any occasion.

Mom was rather dismissive of Mother’s Day, because the idea of honoring mothers and showing how much they are loved on just one particular day was phony.  To her it was an all year round activity and more important for those small things every day.  In some ways I have agreed with her, make up for all the unsaid things, not visiting, etc. on one particular day.

I was living away from Seattle for over 34 years, I was able to come and visit my parents at least 3 times a year, sometimes more.  It was joy to be back in Seattle and be with my parents, we had a lot of fun together.  It was even better when Eddie was with me, the four of us would go on adventures.  Sometimes Eddie came on business trip and I couldn’t go with him, so he had my parents all to himself.  I have often thought he is the son they never had, plus Eddie thought of them as his own parents as well.  Eddie really enjoyed the times he and Dad went out by themselves – a guy’s day.  Dad showed him a lot of back roads around Seattle and Eddie still uses them.

They would come to visit us maybe once a year – I was able to take them around to places I knew and when I was in Atlanta, we drove up to Nashville to visit Candy.  When we lived in LA, we met friends of theirs from when dad was growing up and when they were first married.  Dad showed me places in Rolling Hills and Palos Verdes that were special to him and where he spent his teenage and young adult years.

When we were growing up, Mom was a stay at home mom, she was there when we came home from school – if she wasn’t, we knew she would be back shortly.  Sometimes she would be king cookies or downstairs ironing with the smell of fresh, clean clothes.  It wasn’t until high school, when I went home with a friend, that I realized how blessed I was to have Mom home when I came home.  I took it for granted.  My friend’s father had died in WWII and her mother had to work to support them.  When we went into her house, it felt cold – not just temperature, there was no one there to welcome her with warmth.  That really hit home and I began to value having a stay at home Mom.

As I think about it, home was a place that was safe where I was loved and wanted.   No matter what was going on outside, I would find a retreat at home.  Mom and Dad made it feel that way, Mom was the major component for it.  As I got older, I found more things we had in common, such as the books we liked.  When I was married, I learned to appreciate her more and understand things better.  If I had had children, I would certainly have understood being a mom a lot more.

So now I have to re-imagine Mother’s Day since Mom is not with us any more.  I know she is now much happier because she no longer has dementia and is with Dad.  Maybe it will be a celebration of her life and what she gave to me and my sisters.  I don’t quite see a picture in my mind yet, it may have to simmer on the back burner for a while.  When I think Mother’s Day, I see the lunch we had with her sister Jean and her son and daughter-in-law or the last dinner with Jean before Mom died.  They are happy pictures in my mind and I want it continue that way.

I did another post a while ago with pictures and I want to put those in this one.

Mom and her sister Jean

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Mom as a little toddler

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This is the house she grew up in on Main Street in Glastonbury, Conn

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This is out at the farm in Waterford, Conn near Long Island Sound

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I think this was a camp somewhere

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Mom was a Traveler’s Aid volunteer for more than 34 years – she thoroughly enjoyed doing it.

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Every summer, Mom’s father would rent  house on Clinton Beach in Conn., the family would rent houses near it and spend the summer there.

Dad made an album of pictures of Mom’s life and I used to go through it with her on my visit.  She had Macular Degeneration, so she wasn’t able to see them.  I would describe them to her and she knew exactly what I was describing.  She would tell me stories about growing up – I never knew when she was in a talkative mood.  It would happen all through my childhood, so when I lived in Conn., I went to Glastonbury and saw where she lived and met the relatives that were still alive.  On one of Mom and Dad’s visits to us, I took them there and we also went to Clinton beach to see the rental houses – surprising it looked a lot the same.

Those are the memories and pictures I have of Mom in my mind.

Lee 1, Technology 2

May 10, 2015

I finally was able to  make the one printer work at last.  Last Sunday afternoon I was clicking around and found a set of things to work with to help figure out what I needed to do.  Essentially, they all  had to have the cartridge problem resolved before I could use any of them.  I found a place to check the ink supply and was astounded to find it showed the color empty.  I just bought the cartridges a short while ago, so they shouldn’t be empty.  So I decided to take it to Office Depot to see if they could tell if it was full or not.  The guy was really great – he gave me a free swap and I only had to pay for the other cartridge.  They didn’t have single ones, just a double one with black and color.  So I went for it.

Then I changed the color and found it printed – except the black was barely showing up.  I aligned the cartridges, cleaned the heads and I don’t know what all to get it to work.  I printed out some things where the color worked fine.  I figured I had only won half the battle.  Friday I decided to print out some crosswords and I was so surprised and delighted to see the all black pages looked just right.  Maybe the black had to work its way through before printing properly.  A victory for me.

I didn’t make it to Apple for Pages session, so I don’t know if Ellen received her birthday card on Friday or not.  Plus there is the other printer to solve the scanning problem.  I forgot to mention the phone – no more buzz and static, but now my voice mail doesn’t work and tells people to put in the code.  I don’t have a code.  If I am home and the phone rings, I can answer it with no problem, but no one can leave a message.  I’m wondering if I need to unplug it and put it with the other phone and see if that works.  Looks as if Technology has 3 – I only have 1.

This week we moved more books out of the shelves – picture books to Providence Elderplace, some novels for the Infusion Center and the rest to Goodwill.  We need to empty the shelves for the painters.  They are coming on the 18th.  We had the man for the floors come to give us an estimate and what was possible to clean the hardwood floor.  Seems the floor Dad put in has a very thin layer and it is a little wavy – it would take only 1 sanding and even then, it wouldn’t look much different.  He said he would do it in 2 days but we would have to move out of the house for 3 days because the smell is overpowering.  We would also have to move all the furniture out – that plus the cost and the three hotel nights along with eating out was a bit off-putting.  The logistics also difficult, so we decided not to do it.

I asked Brad if he would build a new mantel for us with crown molding – that is a lot less and something I have always wanted.  I sent him a couple of designs that hit me – I don’t want it too complicated that it overpowers the room and the fireplace.  I also don’t want it so plain either.  He is doing some research to see what molding is available and what will work for the space.  Oh dear, I need to email measurements for him.  It should be ready to paint when Ron comes.

Friday was a great day, we had clear sunshine, 69 and I felt so good.  We had 78 to 80 yesterday, a little hazy. It’s a bit cloudy but due to be 73 – then guess what is coming through?

Today is not only Mother’s Day, it is our 46th wedding anniversary.  We decided not to go to dinner today, instead we went on Thursday a bit early.  It was quite lovely and not a lot of people.  We have a wonderful dinner – brought half of mine home for lunch the next day.  It was fun to have a leisurely dinner and enjoy our anniversary together.  Both of us find it hard to believe it is 46 years, it doesn’t feel that long.  It has been a while since it has been just the two of us in our own home.  When our living room is painted and our furniture is in place, it will truly be our home.

This has been a mixed up Spring so far and now Ellen is sending Spring pictures from Ocean Grove.  They have had a lot of weather this year and who knows what Ana will do as she blows up the coast.  I’m so glad she sent some cherry blossoms.

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It feels as if I am experiencing Spring flowers for a second time.  Thank you so much Ellen.

I can’t think of a better way to close this post.


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