Remembering Mom

Sunday brings us the annual Mother’s Day celebration, likely sponsored by Hallmark, or others, interested in the marketing value.

I choose to remember my mother every day.

Sometimes consciously, recalling the things she did or said.  Sometimes sub-consciously by acting in a way consistent with what she would have wanted. I may not do this all the time, that is a product of my free will, not any lack of effort on her part. When I am not, I know it.

A mother’s influence sets us on our initial path in life.  From the extraordinary burden of bearing the development of the fetus, to the pain of delivery, one’s mother begins the process of molding a child.

My mother was a woman of extraordinary determination and moral conscience.  A child born just after the depression, living through World War II, waiting as the only man she ever loved went off to fight in the Korean War, she became a young married woman in 1954.  The first of her five children arrived two years later.

By the early 60’s she was the manager of a household of five active children, two boys and three girls, and guiding those kids by way of example (with the rare but necessary strong rebuke for poor behavior by one of us).

She experienced the joys of watching her children grow, each of us taking different, yet in her mind, equally satisfying paths.  She had much pride in her raising of the Five B’s as we were collectively referred to on birthday and Christmas cards.

She was a woman of strong faith, holding onto her beliefs despite the collapse of her marriage, the death of a child, a grandchild, and a son-in-law, remaining resilient despite her heart condition and cancer.

One of her favorite expressions was Life is not fair.

Indeed, life is not fair.  Life is neutral.  It does not make you succeed. It does not make you fail.  It gives you the opportunity to live it, however you choose.

I will recall those little things that endear her to me, to everyone for that matter.

Her penchant for taking a word and twisting it to a somewhat different, yet generally hysterical, meaning.

Forsythia bushes.

Twinkies hidden in the freezer while she was on her strict diet to deal with her heart condition.

Her tactic of saying she was not hungry, asking if she could “try” your dinner, and then eating a significant portion.

Her placing everyone else’s needs above hers.

Life is indeed not fair, having taken such a woman away too soon.

Therefore, I will celebrate her memory in my own way and in my own time.

If you are fortunate enough to have your mother in your life, enjoy your time with her while you can.  If not, then hold onto the memories.

Thanks, Mom.

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