On the anniversary of being married for 57 years, mom proudly held the role as honorary flower girl at my oldest daughter's wedding. Walking down the aisle, throwing petals here and there was the last time I caught a glimpse of the sparkle in her eyes, which meant she was happy. Soon after, she began her fight with cancer.
I miss my mom. I miss being irritated by her calls when I thought I was too busy to talk, just to tell me about her latest craft project. I miss hearing her complain about Dad's forgetfulness, and I miss the security she gave me. Even if she didn't know the answers to life's problems, she'd convince me she did. I'm reminded of her daily, the way she talked, her quirky ways and her unending love for her children and grandchildren. I'm reminded of her every time I look in the mirror.
Mom played a vital role in the lives of my daughters as the doting grandma – always there to play, to listen and to make memories to last throughout their lifetimes. We'd spend Saturdays at her house, and rarely a day went by that we didn't call one another.
In her own way she prepared me for this stage of my life by being steady and strong no matter what was happening in life. She was the rock of the family, and I humbly accepted this role when the time came.
Mom wasn't the bubbly type. She didn't make over about much of anything and kept her feelings to herself. It was difficult to know if she was happy, sad or even angry. She pretty much kept her emotions at an even keel. She wasn't big on displaying her love with hugs or kisses, but you could always count on her to be there when you needed someone, and, even when you didn't. There wasn't anything she owned she wouldn't give to you, except maybe for her glue gun and sewing machine.
When I’m at the day’s end and my feet are tired, I pry off my shoes and think of her and those comfortable and oh so unfashionable SAS shoes she always wore and swore by. As garage sale season approaches I think of her and all the Saturdays we spent buying the junk we didn’t need and then having a sale ourselves in the fall just to make room for what we had accumulated over the summer. Every time I look at my lists plastered all over my desk and computer, I think of her and the times I’d make fun of her to-do lists.
The flannel pajamas she’d wear in the winter, the slippers that were never far from her feet are all too familiar now, as I have my own. The things I say and the things I do remind me of her. They say you become your parents. I know now how much that is true.
I guess I’ll be having the last laugh as I watch my daughters become more like me and my unfashionable ways.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I hope I’m doing you proud as I carry on your traditions.
Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.