Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Remembering my Mother

Memories are personal, subjective, true, and not always quite accurate. So if my siblings and father contradict my memories of my mother, I grant their accuracy, but my memories are also true. 

I remember boxing with mother. Take one moody boy in his early teens; add a feisty mother who believed in tackling moodiness head on. Result: a boxing match. Mother would bounce around me (all 4' 11" of her) jabbing away until I broke down in laughter. It was hard to feel down with a mother like that. 

I remember her hustle and bustle. She would work incessantly at whatever needed doing. She and Dad rarely did the dishes together—he was methodical and careful; she washed and piled dishes in the dish drainer quickly. A bad combination. This sounds a lot like Lois and me. I prefer to do our dishes on my own, methodically washing and putting them in place and then drying them equally methodically. (I may leave them on the counter for Lois to put away, which I don’t think my father did.) 

I remember mother’s attitude to discouraging events. She would say to me, “Well, you can meet it [whatever had just happened] with a smile or with a frown. It won’t change, but you will.” Her theme song might have been:
Climb, climb up sunshine mountain, faces all aglow.
Climb, climb up sunshine mountain, heavenly breezes blow.
Turn, turn from sin and doubting, look up to the sky.
Climb, climb up sunshine mountain, you and I. 

She had too much energy to enjoy singing “How tedious and tasteless the hours”, an old gospel hymn with the same message as the children’s chorus. I remember that she told me that the church she grew up in sang that hymn so slowly that they made the time “tedious and tasteless”. 

I remember her love and care. She was the glue who held our family together. We are still together, all this time after her death (24 years ago today), but we miss her love and care, expressed constantly and consistently and deeply and warmly. 

I remember my mother. And love her still, and always.

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