I hate when Mother’s Day approaches being a motherless daughter. This year is a double whammy to me. My mom’s birthday falls on Mother’s Day this year. My heart just can’t take that. I was going to wait on writing a blog for that day, but figured I would get my thoughts out now and talk about my most treasured gifts from my mom.
My dad retired as a heavy machine operator in 1995. He worked hard to provide for the family while my mom always took care of my brothers and all of my grandparents. (I say ALL of my grandparents because after my mom’s mom passed, her dad and my dad’s parents moved in with us.) As a special thank you to my mom, my dad bought her a wedding set, something she had never had, even after 31 years of marriage by then. When he gave her the new set, she gave me her wedding band. I immediately put it on my thumb. Hard to believe I have worn this for 25 years now. I remember during a visit in her dementia days, I asked my mom if she remembered giving me the ring. She could recall exactly when. Some things never left her heart.
The Tater Masher
I have written about the tater masher before, but I have to share the story again. When my parents got married, they literally had nothing. My dad’s boss bought items from an estate sale for them to have. One of the things bought at the sale in 1963 was a tater masher. Who knows how old it was then, knowing it’s been in the family almost 57 years now. So many times I watched my mom mash taters with it. My mom gave it to me before she went into the nursing home. Her rheumatoid arthritis had limited her being able to grasp it. The wooden handle is split. My hunka hunka offered to have it replaced, but I refused. When I hold it now, I know I’m holding the same handle her hands held. I use it to make taters for my dad now. I even keep it in a special place separate from everything else just so even the masher knows how special it is.
My mom was one of the most God-fearing angels on earth. She loved deeply and she prayed deeply. She was never too far from her Bible, even when her eyes and concentration no longer allowed her to read the large type, she always wanted her Bible close. After she passed, my dad gave me her Bible from the late 70s/80s. This was back when Bibles had pictures. So often I would flip through that Bible in church fascinated with all the pictures. My mom read her Bible daily. I have the Bible in a safe place now because the cover is missing, as are the last few books in the back. I know how often she flipped those pages. I know how strong she kept her faith. I pray I could just have an ounce of her in me. I’m so thankful she instilled her faith in me. That faith is what keeps me going each day in the hopes of seeing her again.
The last birthday card I received from my mom, before dementia took her mind, stands on my bedroom dresser. For my birthday last year, my hunka hunka gave me the gift of her to last forever. Her handwriting is tattooed on my wrist, along with an incomplete purple heart. Purple was her favorite color, but also reflects Alzheimer’s disease. I catch myself staring at it often.
Not every gift I have is concrete. Everything about my mom’s touch was precious. I remember how soft her hands were, how gentle she held me, and how sweetly she would pray for me. Touch was important to my mom. She always wanted to touch you in some way. She had healing powers through her touch. She would say it was God using her as an instrument. I can close my eyes and feel her hands on me. I would give anything to feel that today. I’m just thankful I still have the memory in my heart and mind to know how gentle her hands were. I truly long for the day to feel her touch again.
I would give up everything if only I could see her again. I know that’s not reality. I get the ‘she’s in heaven’ concept. Trust me, I grew up knowing there is a Heaven. Grief has no expiration date. Every day is hard without my mom. Every day I think of her. Every day I miss her. For all of you without mothers, I get you! For all of you with mothers, stepmothers, like a mother, grandmothers, or motherly friends, take the time to tell them how much they mean to you. There may come a time when you can no longer do this. Cherish the simple things. They really do become big things later.
Happy Mother’s Day! Peace out, Trouts!