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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day For Me

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.

33 comments: said...

Wow. This took a long time to read. And the white text on black hurts your eyes after a while. But, I can only say every word here was worth reading.

Being on your blog, my mind immediately reverts to it's teenage state. When you said "But sex was something that was talked about with us like it was a natural act and it is, despite what some folks think" the back of my brain went "haha, he said buttsex..."

This is a very honest, raw, touching post. Thank you for sharing this to me. Sometimes I look at my mom and other's moms, and wish I had their mom. If you read my post about her, you'll understand more.

Honestly, I think we were given the moms we have for a reason. I love my mom and most days, wouldn't trade her for anything in the world. Even though we're 900 miles apart right now, she's always by my side.

Happy Mother's Day, Kelly. said...

Gah, why can't we edit comments? I hate when I make a grammar error and can't fix it.

Meh. It's Sunday. I'm not paid to think on the weekend...

The Wolf said...

This post was hard for me to read. Not because I'm slow or anything but because when I think of my mother I don't have any good memories. I only remember her getting drunk making an ass of herself, embarrasing me and calling me an "accident" I haven't spoken to her or anyone in my family for just about 2 years and I wouldn't lose any sleep if I never spoke to them again.

Getting back onto a positive note I'm glad you did write it though. And I can tell you miss her a lot. And I have every confidence she still watchig out for you.

billy pilgrim said...

happy mother's day to you!!

my mother's 86 years old and still as tough as old rat shit. she makes my 89 year dad walk with her for miles most days.

Bless My Bitchy Heart said...

Very touching Kelly. Goosebumps, tears & giggles all in one post-awesome! Your mom sounds amazing!

Anonymous said...

Kelly, you are So blessed to have a mother as awesome as her! I can see now where you get your openess and fearless approach to life topics!

I lost my father when I was 16 and the pain stayed fresh for many years, so I can understand how difficult this was for you to write.

I think your mom would be very proud!

LilPixi said...

I am so full of fucking tears today! Omg. This was so beautiful & I enjoyed the stories of you & your mother so much, and I am so full of many more tears. <3

You are much braver than I, my friend, but what can any of us do but continue to live as best as we can.

You & your dear mom seemed to be as close as me & mine, and I feel like I'm in a race against time to do all I can to keep her around (SO many health problems). I'm a WRECK today! Over my sick grandparents who won't be around much longer, my uncle suffering from the worst cancer I've ever seen, my dying dog, those who have lost their mothers. I could hide & cry all day. Life is so much pain, but it's also so beautiful, as you displayed in the memories you wrote.

Also, if you happen to go over to my blog, don't worry about commenting or anything. Feel free by all means to just skip my last post. I know it's a hard subject for so many & I completely understand.

I have so much love for you, Kelly. You have a friend in me forever, and I wish I could give you all the hugs & comfort in the world today.

Very brave & beautiful post you wrote here. These phases of life are something we all have to go through & learn to cope, appreciate the good times, and I'm so sorry it's been so hard for you, and also glad you are now finally able to talk about it.

Your mother would LOVE this post & the gesture. Correction: I know she does love it! ;~}
(So sorry I wrote you a novel, lol, but I had so much to say about this.

All the love (and loving farts) in the world to you. <3

middle child said...

You may feel that you are kind of stuck, but however long it takes, you ARE moving forward. You have lost much. Not only was she your mother, but you both seem to be like minded. My dad died in 2004 and we hd the same sense of humor. It would be extreemly rough if I didn't have my son who's mind operates much like mine. You are doing well and blessed to have such wonderful memories.

Gucci Mama said...

I am sure your Mama is very proud of you. She sounds like she was a wonderful lady. Everyone should be so lucky to have a mom like that.

Sending you much love today. ;-)

Annabelle said...

Thank you for sharing this today. I look forward to the day when this is the kind of MD post I can get out. Im so glad to see thais is where you're at.

Hugs to you, new friend.

Kelly said... 'butt sex'? You must be a Beavis and Butt Head fan like me to start thinking like them. I'd laugh my ass off at those guys. Especially when they reviewed the music.

You're welcome and I want to thank you for the kinds words for this post. Even now, I have envy for people who still have their mothers. I wish no ill will but I am jealous, somewhat. I openly admit it. I will check out your Mother's Day post soon to see what you mean.

I have no doubt your mother is right by your side... despite the substantial distance between the two of you. Happy Mother's Day, my friend. Take care.

Kelly said...

The Wolf- I'm sorry you had such awful experiences with your mother. I'm in no position to offer advice. I can only offer you support and hope that you keep having the strength you have had all this time. It must be terribly hard on you for Mother's Day. I can understand your feelings.

I'm glad I got this post out of my system, too. It was hard but I pushed myself to do it. I'm a fighter. In the past here, I've written a few things regarding mom's death but I wanted this to be more about her life and what she meant. There's not a day that goes by that I don't miss mom.

Kelly said...

billy pilgrim- Happy Mother's Day to you, as well. You're very fortunate to have an active 86 year old mother. Not to mention a spry 89 year old man for a father. I envy you.

Kelly said...

Bless My Bitchy Heart- Thank you. I appreciate the kind words. I am fortunate to be in a supportive blogging community. And yes, mom was amazing. I wish I had told her that more often.

Kelly said...

The Minute Man's Wife- You're certainly right on that- I was blessed. I believe you're also correct in saying that's where I got my openness and fearless approach to topics. I've got more than my fair share of character flaws but at least I think I get points for those traits. lol. I think.

I'm very sorry you lost your father and I understand how much pain you were in. That means a lot to me that you think that my mom is proud of me for writing this. I believe she might be. I really never thought about that until you brought that up just now. That's very comforting. Thank you for commenting. Take care.

Kelly said...

LilPixi- I'm sorry you're so unhappy but when you explained how bad your mom's health is, it made me sorry to hear about all these worries that you're carrying these days. About your mom, your pet and what sounds to be a sizable portion of your family. It sounds like you are very close to all them. I just keep hoping you continue to draw on the inner strength I know you have- in spades. In truth, I deeply care for your welfare. And I keep hoping that things somehow get much better for you, my dear friend. Like you said, I say to you, "You have a friend in me, forever." Couldn't have said it better so why should I try?. :) And I'm afraid you're right. Life is pain. It feels like someone has pulled a bad prank you in life, sometimes, that you have no control over it. When I feel this way I either fight or lay down. Luckily, I'm more of a fighter now than ever. The buck stops with me.

To tell you the truth, I have purposefully put off reading any Mother's Day posts until I had gotten this out. I didn't want to read how Mother's Day is for them because I thought it might bring about pain. But now that I've done it, I can go see yours and the others.

Thanks so much for your supportive, kind words. I really appreciate them and I bet you're right about my Mom loving this post. :)

And all the love (and pungent farts) to you, my dear friend, LilPixi.

Kelly said...

middle child- Yeah, I think you're right about me moving forward. It's just been painfully slow. It took two years of therapy and my own inner strength before I was able to get over the guilt. I just went through the horrible pain part. Now I'm finally into the bitterness and anger phase. So far, the grieving process has stretched out 6 years for me but I keep plugging along. I'm actually active these days. Before, I couldn't/wouldn't get out of bed.

I see you know all about that kind of pain, too, with your Dad dieing. I'm sorry for your loss, my friend. It feels even worse when a loved dies that shares your same outlook or humor on life. It seems that way, anyway. And you're lucky to have a like minded son, too. He's probably like a friend, too.

I thank you and appreciate your wonderful words and support. Take good care of yourself and those you love, always.

Kelly said...

Gucci Mama- Thank you for saying that, my friend. I think she was the best Mom someone could have. She was always very loving and welcoming.

I send love right back at you, today. Happy Mother's Day. I hope things are okay for you and you continue to have strength. I'll check on your site later... soon. Take care.

Kelly said...

Annabelle- Yes, I hope you'll be able to put out one like this, too. I know the mother/daughter relationship you had with your mom and I know how hard all of this was for you. The pain and confusion and anger is like a whirlwind of emotions tearing you apart. And here's the kicker. You have to fight on or die yourself.

Sorry for my long winded response. I went to Nutty Land for a second.
And I thank you for the hugs and kind words. You're a good friend. I send love your way and the hope you that you remember that you have my complete support and you can talk any time with me by email. Take care. Sorry for the rambling.

GEM said...

Hey Kelly
That can't have been easy facing your pain and anguish regarding the passing of your mom and sharing it so openly but I hope it has helped you move on a little to coming to terms with your loss. i'm sure you know that your mom would only want you to spend your years being happy even if it is without her. You still have your memories and those can't be taken away.
My mom is 71 and although she is extremely fit and active I dread the day she will no longer be with us, I cannot imagine life without her. But hopefully that's along way off yet.
If you believe in life after deth than you will know that your mom's spirit lives on and therefore her love,kindness and sense of humour does too.

Take Care

The Angry Lurker said...

Good post, very moving even for an angry cynic like me, reminded me of my mother who lives in another country.

G said...

She sounds like a great woman, full of life and love - and it's cool that she didn't take things too seriously and could laugh at the absurdity of life ('beep')...great post

Kelly said...

GEM- Yes, it does help me, as far as dulling the pain. The loss, I don't think anyone really gets over, when it comes to losing a parent, wife or child. I think you're right. Mom would want my remaining years on Earth here to be happy. I'm glad you still have your mom and she's still active. That's very important. It will likely keep her alive awhile yet. You make a good point about the spirits of loved ones. I firmly believe that everything that made them special when they were here on Earth continues to exist in their spirit with nothing left out.

I appreciate this thoughtful comment, GEM. Your support in this is well noticed. Take special care of you and your loved ones and have a great evening.

Kelly said...

The Angry Lurker- Thank you. I appreciate the compliment. And I'm a big cynic, too, for the most part. My sensitive side comes out every so often. :) I'm glad this post reminded you of your mother. Have a good evening.

Kelly said...

G- You pegged her right, G. She was full of life and love and she shared the best part of herself- her unique kindness- with everyone, it seems. That was funny what you said about her laughing at the absurdity of life and not taking things too seriously (beep, indeed). I liked that. And thanks for the ending compliment, man. Hope you have a great week, G.

DocStout said...

Incredible post. As I lost my mother several years back as well, and my wife has a son who she never gets to see... Mother's Day isn't our favorite day of the year, things get a bit... grim.

Kelly said...

DocStout- I know what you mean about Mother's Day. I'm sorry for your loss. There's never good enough words to say to someone who has lost their parent, spouse or kid. So... I just say the standard, "I'm sorry for your loss." And it is truly meant- especially coming from someone who knows real loss. That is heartbreaking that your wife can't see her own son. She and you have my deepest sympathy.

All this day is for me is a chance to reflect on how much I miss her. I thought, with this post, I could turn that reflection into a tribute to Mom and all the great things she was about. I think I did a decent job of it.

Take care and stay strong. That's all we can really do to honor the lives of our loved ones and keep ourselves going.

THE SNEE said...

I'm sorry about your Mom's death. My parents are both alive, but I know I will miss them terribly when they die. Our relationships really are sacred, aren't they.

Your words are beautiful, and I have no doubt that your Mom would be very proud. To love and laughter dear Kelly. You are a gem, and I'm grateful to call you friend.

P.S. So which gem are you? Diamond, emerald, sapphire,or something else that sparkles(LOL)?

Greg said...

Your Mom would be proud of your blog and your posts. You are truly a great man, funny and inspirational! I never had a close relationship with either one of my parents and when i read your post I envy the closeness that you had with your Mother.

It surely was an awesome thing. I read the part of your post about what is important to Donna my wife. We both thought those words were inspirational.

OK since I had very little openness about sex in my family, unlike you...where do I hide the salami?

Kelly said...

THE SNEE- Thanks for saying that at the beginning. Yes, I think we take our closest relationships for granted and we don't often enough see how 'sacred' they really are. I'm glad that you realize their great value. Mom and I had bond that was special on a lot of levels. She always listened to me whenever I talked about anything in life and I would do the same for her. I'm very grateful for the time we had together. I think you may be correct in that. Mom probably would be proud. Thanks for saying that. I might be a 'gem', Rebecca, and I blush at that compliment but I can equally say the same about you. You're a kind, supportive and insightful friend. The very definition of what it is to be a friend, I feel. If I were to equate myself with a gem, I guess it would be a really rough sapphire, straight from wherever sapphires are taken. Because I'm still rough around the edges to not have the knowledge enough about life to completely shine but I know I got something worth paying attention to in me. :) Hell, sometimes, I even sparkle? What gem would you be, Rebecca?

Kelly said...

Greg- Thanks for saying that about this post and myself, my friend. I don't think I've ever been described, collectively, that way before. I appreciate that. I can understand you not having a close relationship with your parents. And I can say I empathize with that feeling, too. My Dad and I aren't very close. We share a lot of the same attributes, though. I'm flattered that you showed your wife what I wrote and how I feel about what's important. I know I've mentioned this before but isn't it a coincidence that we both live in Indiana, your wife and I have similar names (my wife's is Ladonna), we're similar, in humor, bloggers and your first name and my last is different only by a couple letters? Am I freakin' you out? Ah, don't mind me. Let us ask the question, Where do I Hide The Salami, and dwell on this for the next 24 hours. :)

Drama Queen said...

Kudos to you for being able to make this touching post honoring your mom. I know it's difficult letting go of special people that have shaped you as a person, and always made you feel loved and wanted. I felt the same about my grandpa, but took comfort in him saying he was ready to go. Regardless, though, I miss him tons and feel like our family isn't whole without him. It happens, and about the best we can do is move on and create our own families and memories.

Beautiful post Kelly. Thanks for sharing. :)

Kelly said...

Drama Queen- Thank you for your kind words and support. And sorry to you that I'm just now responding. I had to take a break from the blogging scene.

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