Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Today would have been my mom’s 71st Birthday.

She is long gone – passed away from cancer at the young age of 51. I still miss her.

Mom had a vibrant personality and appearance. When I was a kid, I could pick her out of a crowd in a second – just looked for her flash of bright red hair.

She also had a big passion for life, she would get enthusiastic about something and despite all our eye-rolling we couldn’t help but catch some her excitement – even if it was about something we dreaded… like going to the grocery store or even moving to a different state.

On the other end of the spectrum, you didn’t want her mad at you – her displeasure was palpable (at least for me) and I would do anything to turn the tides and get things back to normal.

She loved Hostess-Os (the ones with the raspberry filling and the powdered sugar outside). She was prone to low blood sugar and sometimes she would come home from grocery shopping with powdered sugar sprinkled all over her chest… the secret was out and she would have to share the remains of the box – if there was any left.

It drove her nuts that she could never remember a word when she needed it. She would get irritated with us kids and get our names mixed up when she was yelling at us.

She would pee her pants if she laughed too hard.

She often felt inadequate at preening and blamed it on her farm girl upbringing. When my sister and I were pre-teens and teens she would drag us into her bathroom or bedroom and ask us our opinions over her outfits and agonize.

She got pimples until she was in her forties.

She loved orange lipstick and Chanel Number Five perfume. I loved to look at her before she went out for a fancy evening. She was always transformed beautifully from a sweatshirty slippered mom into a fabulous princess.

As I age and pass life landmarks, I think of her. Is that what she was feeling when her oldest child left home and went off to college? Did she feel like this when I was 17 and stayed out all night? These days there are plenty of aha moments as I navigate parenting my kids during their teenage and young adulthood years. I find myself thinking about how she handled me and my siblings - what she must have gone through... I get it now.

It's just heartbreaking to not have her around to share it with.


****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Edith, your post made me want to cry. My mom died of cancer when she was 54...her birthday is approaching next month...I cringe when I hear someone talking bad about THEIR mother...don't they know what they have? Sigh...thanks for sharing....

edith said...

It is super painful for me too when people complain about their moms - they just don't know how lucky they are. I'm sorry about your mommy loss- you never stop missing them, do you?

Richard & Kathie said...

Even tho I only met your mom once...She definately left an impression..What a great legacy she left!!! As you know I lost my mother when she was but 55. AND..I didn't realize until I saw the pictures...YOU REALLY LOOK LIKE her!!

edith said...

Grandma always says that when she sees me! Genes, you know.

maggie g. said...

What a beautifully moving post... she must have been an amazing mom to raise you as a daughter.
I also enjoyed that she laughed hard enough to wet her pants and think that she may have passed her sense of humor on you :-)

edith said...

Thanks Maggie.