Books Read in 2007
THE MOMMA MEME
16 September 2007
Hey...I haven't done a meme in every so long a time. I came across one about the relationship I have with my mother and, since it's still her "birthday month" (we don't do "celebrations" we do month-long commemorations!), what better time to do it than now. Here are the questions:
1. What kind of relationship do you have with your Mom...why?
I think I have a great relationship with my mother. I've said here before that she is probably my best friend. We've always had a pretty good relationship, with a few rocky memories from my growing up years. Not many, though (I still don't believe those tadpoles just "disappeared" out of the fish bowl, as she told me. I'm sure they had help!)
Several years ago, oh maybe 10 or so, we had a long discussion about things. Things got aired that I never realized were problems and we talked them all out and there hasn't been a ripple since then. When I'm in crisis, my mother is the person I call. I have told her over and over again how sorry I am that she broke her ankle, but that it was the best month of my year, being able to spend that one-on-one time with her.
(And of course, Cousins Day was the best
by-product of that tragic accident.)
Apple pies. The memory of her sitting at our kitchen table in our San Francisco flat with a bowl in her lap, an apple in her hands, and a knife peeling the apple in one long, unbroken strip. Then she'd slice the apple thinly and add cinnamon and sugar to prepare it for an apple pie. I always stole apple slices and ate a lot of the peels that were discarded.
Another "smiley" memory is chocolate cream roll (see how my memories are so often food-based?). She used to make a chocolate cream roll, a sponge cake baked flat, rolled up tightly in a powdered-sugar sprinkled towel to cool, then unrolled, spread thickly with whipped cream (the "real" stuff, not the fake stuff), and then frosted with a bittersweet chocolate frosting. She always cut off the ends of the cake before she rolled it up and saved the scraps for Karen and me to have when we got home from school.
She also made little "sugar pies" out of
left over pie crust, spread thickly with butter, sugar and cinnamon and
rolled up, sliced and baked until it was flaky.
The sight of her sitting in a corner of the limousine going to and from my sister's funeral. She was crying and my father was sitting across from her, staring out the window. It hurt me to know that he couldn't be any support for her. I remember holding her and thinking "I shouldn't be the one doing this."
Later I remember her telling me that
after 3 days following my sister's burial she just "had to cry" and so she went outside where my father
wouldn't see her. Especially now that I have gone through that pain
myself, the idea of her having to hold all that grief inside so as not to
upset him is very painful to think about.
Oh heck yes! She would deny it -- do any of us see ourselves as others see us? But here is a woman who, at 88, still volunteers for the Hospice of Marin thrift shop (which she has been doing for some 20 years or so), still drops what she's doing to help a friend or a family member in trouble, is the person that everybody takes their troubles to.
She is slowing down a little now, but she still does more in a week than I do in a month. She lights up any room she walks into. She knows how to talk to people, to make them feel special. She is a gracious hostess who still hosts large dinner parties from time to time, always with beautiful table settings and food perfectly prepared. Plants positively light up under her care. More than one dying plant has burst into luxuriant bloom thanks to her.
She is always impeccably dressed, coiffed and made-up, but is neither vain nor a spendthrift--she gets all of her clothes and shoes at the thrift shop where she volunteers.
I don't know a single person who doesn't love her. If people feel about me 1/4 the way they feel about my mother when I come to the end of my life, I will feel very fortunate indeed.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is entry #2728