Friday, October 24, 2014

Missing You Mom

Dear Mom,
Seven years ago today I became an Orphan.  It was not something I had ever given much  thought to. But the morning after you died, I awoke and my first thought was, this is the first day of my life without a Mother. I was taken aback by the thought and the feeling that accompanied it.  You were really gone.  And for the first time I really understood how paramount you had been in my life.  And now seven years later I know it even more.

I hope you hear me when I talk to you.  I hope you see me and all the things I've been through and done since you left.  I believe you do.  I think you are right here with me, next to me but still able to do all the things a Soul does in the magic of Eternity.  How could you be anywhere but with me your child? Thats what Mother's do.

I know I was always head strong and stubborn.  I believe that added to my inability to see things as they were.  I was so focused on wanting you to be the Mother I wanted, that I failed to realize that you were the Mother that I needed.  You were not demonstrative.  You often vocalized how you wished you could be.  But no one had ever taught you how and the discomfort of kisses and I love yous never really left you. Instead you "did".  You got up at 5 and sent Dad off to work.  Then you fixed your fussy eater (me) food I liked for lunch.  I would go on kicks for 3-4 months at a time.  Egg Salad, chicken sandwiches....that entailed boiling eggs and shelling them.  Cooking inexpensive pieces of chicken and picking the meat off the bones.  And always there were fresh baked goods.  You ironed my uniforms and then fought with me to get out of bed.  Off I'd go with nary a thank you.  Finally you'd have forty five minutes to yourself before you went to work at the Bank.Then home at 5:30 to cook and clean and get ready for the same routine tomorrow.  You didn't complain.  You didn't coddle.  You were strict.  If you said it, it happened. I thought you were so mean.

Then I grew up, married, had a family of my own.  Still I could not see you for the woman you were. I thought my problems were original.  You and I still had our difficulties. My blinders where on even as you reached out for me to catch me as I fell out of my marriage.  I took so much for granted.  Wasn't that what a Mother was for.

Years passed.  You had some health issues.  I nursed you back to health.  I tended you.  I still could not see you as a person in her own right.  You were my Mother.

Another decade passed and now you were in need.  It was the two of us.  Finally the barriers were down.  For the first time I really honored you, just like the commandment said.  I helped you through the difficult act of dying.  It was not me alone.  It was Jack and Pat, and Ann, David, Lara, Mary, Renee, Trish and many many others.  But we had a lot of moments alone.  It wasn't until you were no longer awake that I could begin to say all the things that had gone unsaid. To thank you for all the things I had failed to see, appreciate or realize.  And now seven years later, I am still recalling. I see you often in myself.  Sometimes it scares me.
I never thought I'd say it, but honestly Mom, I'm proud to be like you.  I love you.

Until next time.....Always,

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Shredding Memories.....

Today was a cool cloudy Tuesday.  The kind of Summer day that makes me feel more inclined to take on jobs I usually defer.  Today's chore was cleaning out file cabinets and shredding.  

When we moved almost four years ago, I hired a shredding company to come out after burning out two shredders.  Understand that Tom was a man born  almost a generation before me.  He was raised on paper.  Every kind you can think of.  He was a business owner and his business was Insurance.  You can imagine the paper that field of work can generate.  He came to know and be comfortable using computers.  He did all his banking online.  Bill Pay was his savior!  Bill Pay saved him 6 hours of careful record keeping and hand writing checks once a month.  Always on the 20th.  Not a day before and not a day later.  But no matter how hard I tried I could not convince him that he did not need to keep a paper (hard) copy of everything he did.  Thus the files soon began to refill after the day we had the shredding company out.  There were also records/papers he just refused to part with.  Like every single Mortgage he ever had.  For every single house he had ever lived in.  They were numerous.  Every Bank statement for years and years resided in file drawers and boxes.  Every lab test going back 25 years.  Every Explanation of Benefits from BC/BS.  Are you getting the picture?  

Today came and I didn't have to be anywhere.  I decided to start on this formidable task.  I stayed at it for seven hours.  I accumulated 5 garbage bags of shredded documents and old 
records of who knows what.  What I could recycle I recycled.  But in the flurry of the papers and the whirl of the shredder there were Memories.  A sticky note with a jotted message.  A note saying he had gone to the store.  Our signatures together on a Mortgage application.  Applications that I had filled out for him when writing became more difficult for him. Now those papers slowed me down and I must admit I took my time remembering.  It was good.  When I remembered enough I slipped those papers into the jaws of the shredder.  Never to see them again,  but to know that all those moments are in my heart as years lived well.  The other papers went in much faster because they had nothing to do with me and had no hold.  I now know exactly where all the old Tax Records are.  I have enough room in my desk file that I can easily slide my hand in to slip in a necessary paper.  I have more room in the closet, but my heart is more full.  

Until Next Time.....Always,

Oh an added bonus.  A handwritten card from my Mother.  A thank you note following the 90th Birthday Party we gave for her.  Filled with soft and tender words that she found impossible to utter, but she could express in writing.  That is safely locked in my fire proof safe.  Gems among the rubble.