My late mother, Barbara, as a young woman
It's absolutely amazing how deep a mother's influence goes.
Our mothers are usually the first people to hold us in their arms, to nurture us, kiss our tender baby cheeks, and think we are the most beautiful babies in the world.
When I look into photographs of my late mother, Barbara, taken when she was young, I'm amazed.
She was very attractive and I wish I had known her in her younger years.
What was she like then?
What were her thoughts and dreams?
She even wrote poetry as a young woman.
She was never one to be physically demonstrative with her five daughters but boy, we knew she loved us.
She was with us from dawn until bedtime, cooking, cleaning, ironing our clothes, baking pies, and organizing weekly trips to the library.
She went to every PTA (Parent Teacher Association) meeting for more than a decade, made cupcakes for the sales, and attended school open houses for all five of us.
Mummy never had the opportunity to attend college but every single one of her girls did. We all have degrees in various areas.
Love of music and reading both came from Mummy. She was an avid reader who especially loved biographies of movie stars and Presidents' wives.
She was a cool piano player who made those ivories jump with different renditions of old-time songs. She'd sing, too!
She loved her family immensely and cherished all the get-togethers on birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions.
Family was NUMBER ONE with Mummy.
She also loved to eat. Even though she didn't like it, she was a fairly good cook. She also loved going out to restaurants.
She was a greeting card sender and would spend hours reading the inside verses to make sure they were just right.
Oh boy, Mummy was Queen of Scrabble. How many games did she play in her lifetime? Well, it was probably in the thousands.
It's been six years since Mummy died at age 91. I still miss her. When I hear the songs that start "Won't you come home Bill Bailey" or "Five foot two, eyes of blue", they come with an image of Mummy sitting at the old baby grand, pounding away and singing at the top of her lungs.
Throughout her life she was very, very faithful to the Blessed Mother (the mother of Jesus.) She said at least a million rosaries and called upon Mary in times of trouble. Believe me, there were many.
Her faith was almost child-like but as strong as cement. One of her most repeated sayings was "prayer can move mountains."
Some of her grandchildren got to know her well.
The presence of a grandmother in children's lives is a tremendous gift from God.
Grandmothers, after all, love unconditionally.
Their wisdom and love are tremendous examples for children to emulate.
All children who have a grandmother in their lives are very, very blessed.
Mummy, like Grandmas everywhere, adored her grandchildren. She was always stuffing money into greeting cards and buying them trinkets on every holiday throughout the year.
She complimented her grandchildren and made them feel special. (My own daughter remembers Grandma telling her she was pretty enough to be a movie star!)
Now that their Grandma died, as all Grandmas do, my Mummy's grandchildren remember her with a deep and abiding love and admiration. What a legacy! Do we ever stop missing our parents? I don't think so. They are so much a part of us that even when they are gone, they are still with us.
One day, when I make the trip to the other side myself, Mummy will be there, waiting for me. I can see her now. Her dark eyes will light up again, like when she first laid eyes on me as a newborn.
"Susan," she'll say. "It's about time you got here. I couldn't wait to see you again."
Then the hugs and tears of happiness will start and we'll never have to be apart again for all eternity."
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL MOTHERS, MOTHERS-TO-BE, FOSTER MOTHERS, AND WOMEN WHO LOVE OTHERS LIKE A MOTHER LOVES HER CHILD!
MAY YOUR DAY TODAY BE SWEET.
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