“The woman who bore me is no longer alive, but I seem to be her daughter in increasingly profound ways.”
Johnnetta Betsch Cole
It is 10 years today that my mom died. Not a horrible death; she was 95 and went in her sleep. She told the nursing staff when she went to bed that she was leaving, going home to her daughters. She had five of us. I was number four born late in her life. She had me at 43 in the 1950’s and another daughter two years later. The grandchildren started in between my younger sister and I. Yikes!! 45 years old and two little ones and three teenagers. Those teenagers started getting married and having children of their own. They were always at our house. Free babysitting. 45 was not the new 30 in 1955.
My mom was beautiful, talented, creative, a nurturer. She was also human and vulnerable. Life was not easy when I was growing up. My dad was very ill with at that time untreatable bleeding ulcers and there was no national health care yet. He died when I was 18 and my mom was 61. I had just started university. She never remarried but worked until she was 69; running a senior’s residence no less.
My mom didn’t teach me to cook or sew or knit; all things she was excellent at. She was busy and I am sure that I was a challenge for her. My god it was the sixties and I was a teenager. The world was changing rapidly. I pushed the envelope many times.
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her in some way. My mom baby sat my kids always. Now that I have my own grandchildren I remember so much of what my mother did for me and my children. They had the best relationship with her.
I find myself saying the same phrases I heard from her.
She had a song “that’s okay Rose would say, don’t you worry none, we’ll have good time by and by in the fall when the works all done” . It was like one of my favourite quotes from Julian of Norwich, all will be well. Or this one from Karen Maezen Miller “your baby will be okay”
Miss you mom, all your babies are okay!
“Your child is a boat on the ocean. There are clear skies and calm nights. There are storms and rain and fog. You cannot control the course. Every time you exhale, the boat is carried safely toward the horizon, its distant harbor and home.
You are the breeze.”
Karen Maezen Miller
i miss her still. Every day. I feel closest to her when I am in my kitchen – whenever things get rough I bake her chocolate chip cookies. It always helps.
I make meatloaf.