Sunday, May 04, 2008

My Mom

My beautiful Mother passed away on April 25th surrounded by her children.

My Mom was the sweetest, kindest, loving woman I know. I never saw her without a smile. She wasn't very demonstrative but we all knew we were loved. I never heard her utter a bad word about anyone and if we did she would frown. She never missed a Mass, getting there in the rain or snow. In later years she would make it to church coming in with her walker. In the past year when she was confined to a wheel chair my youngest sister and I took her to Mass on Sundays. When we arrived late on Easter her parish priest stopped in the middle of his sermon to welcome her. She touched everyone she knew in one way or another.

She was always "put together", had a matching suit of clothes on, a pin on her lapel and a handkerchief in her pocket. In later years when her eye sight became so bad my sister and I would do her clothes before we took her to mass.

She was a superiour cook and while I never learned to plan and cook a meal while I was a young girl, she taught me to make the best cinamon rolls which become my Saturday job while my older sister cleaned the bathroom. I can still bake a first class apple pie, my turkey's are stuffed to this day with her dressing and I don't make cinamon rolls any longer.

She was a knitter and taught me to knit. I could never master 4 needles making sox or mittens. My stitches were always twisted, but I learned how to knit sweaters.

She crocheted. Her doilies graced every table in the house. I learned how to crochet from her and made my own doilies. She left behind a suitcase full.

She was an exceptional artist. Her paintings won ribbons at the county fair, hung in her credit union and grace most of our homes.

She was a seamstress and made all her own clothing right down to her drawers. My 3 younger sisters all wore "home made panties". My youngest sister's biggest wish growing up was to have a pair with a label from a store in them. I can laugh at them, I always had "store bought" undies.

I never saw my Mom without a needle in her hand stitching away on a quilt. Her hands were always busy. As her eye sight failed she could no longer quilt or do any of her other crafts. She would reach out feeling her blocks and ask if this block was finished. I started quilting when I moved home after being gone for many years to spend time with her. She was always gone doing one thing or another and her quilting group was the only place I knew where to find her. She made and donated many quilts to raffle for good causes. She took blocks donated to her quilting group and stitched them together into quilts for donations.

There wasn't a craft my Mom didn't master. She always said she did a craft until she got it down pat and then moved on to a new one.

My Mom was a doer. When she wanted to move, Dad said sell the house. She put a for sale sign up and sold the house in Minnesota. We moved to Washington. When Dad was remodeling the farm house here, she asked when he was going to remove a wall. He said if you want it down take it down and she did. She got a crowbar and the wall was down when Dad returned from work.

Her sense of humor never failed her. She could and did whip out one liners even in her last days. When her medications caused her nose to drip and she would forget to wipe it, I'd ask where her handkerchief was, her nose was dripping. She'd look at us and say "see girls this is what you have to look forward to". My sister always called her the "princess and the pea". She didn't like wrinkles and even when her eye sight was failing she would reach out as she was going to bed and smooth her sheets. In her last days at the hospital she would say she was sitting on a lump and would laugh when we said she must be getting pleats in her bum.

She grew up in the depression and when my father passed away she never spent on herself. She had her trailer, the farm was paid for, she needed to save for when she could no longer live by herself. When we asked why she didn't move to an apartment she always said why she should pay to live somewhere when her trailer and the farm was paid for. She watched her sister go through every penny her husband had left her and spend her remaing days in a nursing home. Mom wasn't going to end up there. She spent her remaining days in her own bed at the Assisted Living. She grew up in the era you saved to leave something behind for your children and she did. She made sure the farm was intact and we had an inheritance. She always had everything she wanted. A very independant woman.

Our parents raised us with good values. We all learned you worked for what you got. You stayed out of trouble or you had to suffer the consequences. All 8 of us turned out okey, stayed out of trouble, grew up and went on to be decent folk.

I'll miss my Mom. We were never very close but she always chose to come stay at my home when she was released from one hospital stay or another. I loved my Mom and never knew how to let her know how much. I'll miss my Sundays taking her to church.


For a loving Mom who is watching over me now


Carol said...

I am sorry for your loss but what a great tribute to your mother. God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Your mother was an exceptional woman. I would love to have Mass said for her at my church (St. Michael's in Auburn AL). Would you please email me her name privately??
Thank you,
Omajean Maloney

tami said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. That was a wonderful tribute.

ForestJane said...

Aww, what a lovely piece you've written about her - and a truly inspirational woman she sounds like she was too!

Mary said...

I am so sorry to hear about you Mom. She must have been a wonderful woman and has passed a wonderful legacy on to her family.

Blessings on you and your family.

Sandy said...

Dona, you have written a wonderful and moving tribute to your mother.
Thank you for sharing this.

Sandy in South Australia

Joanne said...

This was beautiful -- I miss your mother too!

Carol E. said...

Thanks for sharing this dear story about your mother. She was a wonderful person! I'm sure you will miss her, but you have a diamond in your heart that was put there by your mother.

Lynn Dykstra said...

My deepest sympathy for you.

Lori in South Dakota said...

When I read about your mom, I saw so many things she had in common with my mom. Decorating graves of family members. Learning how to cook something (bread). My mom was famous for her caramel rolls. (after almost 20 years my husband is still talking about them) And yes, she never lost her sense of humor even in the hospital. I miss her.