Mothers and daughters become closest when daughters become mothers. - author unkownOur hair was always combed up. I remember feeling the skin around my eyes stretch into a slant as my mom pulled my hair back tight into a pony tail. The worst was when those little colored balls that were attached to the pony tail holder would slip out of her fingers and pop me on the head. My mom made sure our clothes and faces were clean whenever we went out. We had the same routine every night. We would watch Little House on the Prairie and then it was off to bed. She would come in to the room my sister and I shared and give us each three kisses, "Good night." Kiss. "I love you." Kiss. "See you in the morning" Kiss. Angela and I would give in to giggles when the lights went out, as we discovered secret tunnels under the blankets.
My dad was off to Korea with the military and my memories are filled with Sunday School and waiting for my sister to get home from the bus stop. We were the best of friends and our imaginations took us out into the wilderness where we collected berries to survive. We had pretend names, Didi and Hahaiya. Where those names came from, I have no idea! While mom and her friends played Yahtzee, we played "elephants", marching around the oval of the braided rug in our room. Laughter poured from my mom as she and her girlfriends talked about whatever grown ups talk about. She laughed a lot.
Kool-Aid was a staple in our home. Mom collected the points from the back of the packets. We loved drinking out of the white plastic Kool-Aid Man cups we had earned. She loved Tupperware and Avon parties. We had the lovely mustard, olive green, brown and orange plates and mugs. I still have the little Avon necklace she gave me. It has three colored "candy" conversation hearts on it that say "I love you".
Dad came back from Korea and we moved to a new apartment. Another sister came and then a baby brother. Mom got us off to school every day and was always there to pick us up after. I remember one day I came to the car in tears. My teacher had embarrassed me in front of the class over a poor math grade. Mom took me in to the school office and confronted my third grade teacher, not caring who was listening. She was my hero that day.
Another baby sister came when I was in junior high. I was growing up and my parents didn't know anything. Mom reminded me that I was loved when I was convinced everyone in the family hated me. How she endured those emotional, eye rolling, attitude filled days, I'll never know.
She is still my hero. I may never know all of the sacrifices she has made or remember all the hurtful things I may have and said or done as a teenager. What I do know is that there is nobody who loves me or prays for me the way my mom does. She was there through a miscarriage and the birth of my babies. Through heartache and sickness she still smiles. She loves. She prays. She mothers.
Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What’s that suppose to mean? In my heart it don’t mean a thing. ~Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987
If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been. ~Robert Brault