Sunday, May 9, 2010

I Am All Of That Too

If your Mother is alive, call or visit her today. Tell her you love her. Tell her she is right about more stuff than you gave her credit for when you were younger.

My Mom died almost five years ago and yes, I’m feeling a little guilty about not visiting her more often. I’m wondering what her last hours were like as they put her and some of the other nursing home residents on a school bus to move them to another part of the state because three days after Hurricane Katrina devastated her area, there was still no electricity at the nursing home in suburban New Orleans. I wonder if she came out of her dementia at any point during the storm itself and realized what was going on. She died hours after arriving at the new location. She loved to travel and that was a hell of a last trip.

Mom was a story-teller and loved being around people. She liked knowing what was going on in other people’s lives and shared parts of her life with anyone who would listen. I’m convinced that if she was born in the generation after hers, she would have been a career mom who returned to work when her kids started school. But she followed her generational norm and quit work when she was pregnant with me and never went back even after my sister and I were in school.

I bet Mom was a lot of fun in her twenties. Pictures of her from that era always showed her laughing with her girlfriends.

Mom and Dad both bought into the typical ‘Dad is the boss’ attitude of their generation, but I get the feeling Mom was really the boss. They didn’t always agree, but Dad showed her plenty of respect and demanded the same behavior towards her from us.

Mom was artistic, curious, stubborn, accepting (eventually) and loved having conversations with small groups of people. It is only in the past few years that I realize I am all of that too and I wish she had lived long enough for me to share that observation with her. She probably would have laughed and then launched into a story about how she got to be that way.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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