Yesterday marked the six month anniversary of my mom’s death. There are many times I find myself wanting to go to the phone to call her or drive over to the house to visit. When I do stop by the house to see dad, I vision her being in her chair snoozing with the television on Court TV or CSI reruns. She would wake up, look at me, and say, “What are you doing here?” or “I didn’t hear you come in.” I miss the update from her about my aunts, uncles, cousins, brother, niece or nephews.
Before her illness nine years ago, my mother was an active person. She worked at retail stores all her working life. She enjoyed learning new skills in craftsmanship, whether it was in needlework, crotchet, china painting, oil painting, sewing, quilting, refinishing furnitures or remodeling houses. There was nothing she could not do when she set her mind to it and go after the goal she set out for. In addition, she was also a perfectionist. If what she was making has one mistakes, for example, she would rip the stitches out and start over. Unlike my dad and me.
Mom and Dad had many opportunities to travel. They would save all year so they can go places on vacation the next year. We were able to visit relatives in other states; Michigan, Texas and Louisiana. Mom and Dad also traveled on their Honda Goldwing with a motorcycle group they belonged to see the country or take day trips to a restaurant or truckstop for coffee or coke.
Mom and Dad love to go camping and took four kids with them. At first, it was a tent. Then we upgraded to travel trailer as a family. Later they had a fifth wheel trailer, which they sold to my uncle Dean when mom got sick.
When I was a freshman in High School, I had tried to make their camping life miserable by refusing to participate in fishing, walking around the park, or sitting outside. I just stayed in the trailer and read books. What I really wanted was to talk on the phone or visit with my new boyfriend, Everett. We didn’t have the luxury of cell phones back then like teenagers do today. Everett did come out on his motorcyle to visit on that Labor Day weekend.
I remembered that I had an art project due on Tuesday after Labor Day. We were camping and Mom asked Dad go into town to take a Polaroid picture of our front door and bring that picture, my art pad and charcoal pencils to me. I thought she would let me go home to do the project but she had found another solution and I was not going to win. :-)
This is one of the story Mom and Dad love to bring up. Especially when I mentioned wanting to go hiking, go out to the lake, go camping or fishing. I do love nature as much as my parents, but one wouldn’t think so back then.
My brother, Todd, his family and my dad loves to go fishing in the boat every year. They would catch a lot of fish and give some away to relatives.
Dad also loves to hunt. He told me a story when mom went hunting with him because she didn’t want him to go hunting alone. Mom shot at a deer (I think). It must have bothered her, because she would not shoot at another animal again. But she would target practice with dad from time to time.
There are so many stories about mom and I hope to get them written down so the grandkids and great-grandkids can enjoy them. Mom’s stories are full of wit, wisdom, smiles, and love. Although mom has done many things, the one thing she treasured the most was family. We still miss you, mom.