Mother's Day means something different to all of us. The factors being your mother and you weren't close, are very close, were very close, she passed away, she's many miles away, she's living with you and so on. There's just too many and I wouldn't be able to name them all, adequately.
For me, it was/it is- a few of these things.
I've never done a Mother's Day post before because it always too painful for me to even start. Believe me, I wanted to, if for anything else, just to air out some feelings. But, as I'd try, I would eventually fail. The pain- being too great.
My Mom died nearly six years ago and I'm now able to come to grips with a lot of things having to do with that fact. We were very close, you see. She was my best friend. Mom was my confidante and the person who knew me the best. If I ever felt down, I turned to her. If I ever had good news, she was the first to know of it.
It took me years before I could do this. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time. I wanted to write about her, what she was like- on this blog.
Yeah, it takes me forever to get through emotional steps of whatever I'm going through. Whether it be grieve or forgiveness or making a friend or loving. I tend to take my good sweet time with all of these and more. I'm very passionate with the sensations that are rolling around in my soul. I think, but I'm not sure, this is why I have a hard time letting go of things. Once it's in there, in deeply embedded. Of course, being more apathetic than passionate may seem better to a few but I've never been that way and wouldn't know how to be like that if I wanted to. Personally, I think some people make better androids than humans.
In any case, I'm just going to stick with how I'm feeling. No soapbox diatribes on human nature today.
It's strange for me, in a way, to have Mom as a topic along with some of these odd stories, essays and pictures I've got on the blog. I hope Mom doesn't mind being a subject on my blog. Yeah, I do happen to believe in an afterlife. Any objectors or arguers of this idea will have to debate me another day. This isn't one of those type of posts where I want to hear debate of any kind so if you feel the need, save it for a another day. But getting back to how she might feel, wherever she is, I hope she doesn't give me a swat with the that ol' flyswatter she would use on me when I was bad kid when we all meet again. Ha ha. That would suck. :)
Just kidding. By the way, I've written about her before and the tough time I had with the guilt over her death and more but this post is something different.
Back to where I was....
Today I want to talk about and remember the good things about mom.
Mom and I would spend long late nights, into the early morning hours, playing Scrabble and talking about "meaning of life" type of stuff when we were both adults. Or just silly stuff. Mom was my personal advisor, a lot of times, when I'd need her most, too. I remember, as a kid, taking long walks with Mom down the gravel lane from where we lived in our four room house, when the family was dirt poor. We would walk down the lane, when I was kid, talking, holding hands and I would be looking up at her, at her eyes, as she answered any question a kid would have at that age. You know the kind. Those were pure, unforgettable times that I wouldn't trade anything for.
Later in life, Mom would watch me become distant as a teenager and later yet, succeed, fail, go on my first date, first prom, get a job, have problems, have good news and all that stuff that goes on in life and do it all-without directly judging me and instead, talk to me on a equal level that I deeply appreciated. I think she did that because she knew what all those things in life were like because she experienced them herself, along with the positive and negative aspects that is embedded within those episodes and so she empathized and showed her love by just speaking honestly and fairly.
I want to cry now as I think back on those particular great times we all had as a family. The trips to The Great Smoky Mountains, to Arizona, to out west and Florida and so on. I'm thinking about the fantastic fun times we had in the pool, throwing kickballs at each other and playing volleyball or the long, heart-to-heart talks we would have, while lounging around in the pool, about how are lives were going and what we were doing. All of our laugh-out-loud good times during our camping adventures. All of those funny moments around the campfire. These memories- I think of now and more.
Mom was incredibly demonstrative, too- Always giving hugs out to Dad and us kids, telling us how much she loved us and reassuring us and just being there when we needed her. She would celebrate our birthdays like they were the most important events in the world. Cakes, gifts, banners and streamers out the wazoo and then some. And Mom would produce big extravagant meals, full of comfort food and she would show off her considerable cooking talents with wonderfully unique meals, as well. She made sure no one left hungry at her house.
We were a very, very close knit family. We could talk about anything. Hardly any subject was off limits. Ask and ye shall receive. lol.
Shit. I was taught about the "birds and the bees" so early, openly and naturally that it would freak most uptight people out. They wouldn't be able to deal with it. But sex was something that was talked about with us like it was a natural act and it is, despite what some folks think. We would laugh at some aspects of sex, too.
I don't want to get into a debate here, but I think some folks are just little too backward and not progressive enough with this topic and more. It makes me laugh a little. Especially, in comparison with what knowledge I was given and how I was brought up. Complete honesty. Ya gotta love it. Either that or stick to being squeamish, sensitive or close-minded or whatever you want to call it.
Passing gas was funny, too. Like I said, hardly anything was off limits.
There I go again... getting off topic. I can't help myself. I have that wheel in my head that won't stop turning. Perhaps a little crazy man is turning the wheel. Who knows?
Mom and I shared the same warped sense of humor, as well. To be perfectly honest, though, my brand of humor was a little more warped.
One time, we pissed off my sister by laughing at the "beeping noises" a mentally handicapped man was making at a picnic table with his family while we were in the state park having our own family picnic not too far from his small brood.
"Beep!" The retarded man would make this noise. Mom and I would laugh. We weren't really laughing at him. Just the odd, abrupt, loud noise he would suddenly make every few minutes during the mostly quite picnic in the park.
"Beep!," he would shout out again.
Mom and I would try to hold back our laughter. We knew it wasn't right but we couldn't help it. The more he beeped and made other strange noises, the funnier it got. It's like the situation where you have a funny idea or picture in your mind at a funeral. The harder you try to control it, the more you want to let out your chuckles and guffaws. And then your body and/or mind finally betrays you and you burst from the seams, making a scene.
Oh well. My motto is: Who gives a rat's ass what people think.
The ironic thing also about this episode is that my mother worked as a nurse on the mental ward at a hospital. She was kind of used to this sort of thing but it would still make her laugh- again, not at the retarded person(s) just at the noises or outlandish actions. At the hospital, she acted, according to her, professionally- which I don't doubt because she was more than exceptional at turning her own personal laugh button off and on at really public places.
Suddenly, the retarded guy, probably about 30 years old or better, raised up his hand during the normally peaceful family picnic and yelled, "HI-YO!"
That's when we lost it, laughs busting from our guts and us, holding our mouths closed as best we could. My sister chastised us, telling us how inappropriate it was, of course. She's warped in her own right. Just not as much as me. Heh heh. And don't ask me why this memory of Mom popped in my mind. I could have thought of much better ones, I suppose. The little crazy man at the wheel in my brain does unpredictable things I feel like I can't be held accountable for.
Anyway, we didn't just laugh at the mentally handicapped shenanigans of some different folks. We shared a sense of humor about most anything you could or couldn't think of at this moment. But I think we shared more than that. I think we shared a way of looking at things in life- for better or worse- that really made of us that much closer.
I have to add that Mom was the glue, along with my Grandpa, that held the family together during inner family squabbles. Despite her depression and diabetes she suffered through, in life, she was incredibly strong and strong-willed. Mom was able to bring people together, no matter how much they didn't want to be around each other. And Mom was able to help mend our differences and hurt feelings with ease. Grandpa had this gift, too. Unfortunately, both of these much loved and much needed people are gone from our lives, passed on and now our family is fragmented in ways you would find hard to understand and I couldn't begin to even explain.
But listen to this!
When Mom passed away, I immediately learned this particular lesson, shortly after. It's a way of looking at things in your life, honestly. And because I learned this, I became instantly honest with myself, everyone else and completely accepted my flaws, my talents, my failures and my accomplishments and really... everything.
Here is the most significant insight I have and likely ever will have:
The most important part of your life isn't money, material things, status, proving who's best or who's not or who's right or who's wrong, the media, politics or religion. The most important part of your life are your loved ones. Everything, in comparison, is trivial.
Sometimes people won't learn or understand what I just said until a very close loved one has passed on. Sometimes they will understand it before it does come down to something that crucial or extreme.
That's it. That's my own personal insight. It's a doozy if you put any thought to it or if you have put any thought into it.
Being honest with yourself and accepting yourself is almost right up there with all of that. And to be painfully honest, as my Mom would sometimes say I could be, at times... I think both of those insights could be said to be intertwined if you think about it as I have.
Below are pictures of my immediate family that I put in a frame shortly after Mom passed away. I chose these pictures because of their meaning and because I like these images of Mom the best so far. I have dozens of family albums I haven't gone through since Mom died but I think I will do that, here, pretty soon.
On the upper left is Mom and Dad, a year before I was born. In the middle top, is Mom (that's Dad's arm around her). I had to cut Dad off in order to get the picture in the frame right. I have another copy with him completely there. :) On the upper right, is Mom and Dad at a state park. Both of my parents loved the great outdoors. A love and respect my sister and I shared with them, too and still do. The rest of the pics, at the bottom, are of me and the rest of the family. My Grandpa, who was a farmer, is in the second last picture- towards the right.
Well, my fellow bloggers and readers, this is my Mother's Day post. I consider this, in itself, a minor accomplishment, considering how long I put it off. Thanks for reading it and I welcome your thoughts and/or stories. Take care of each significant other in your own life and please don't forget what I said earlier, regarding my insight. Be well. Kelly. Out.