I woke up to the sound of rain, a gentle rain. I stayed in bed a while and listened. I could also hear Gracie’s deep sleep breathing and every now and then a sigh. Today is Mother’s Day. It is the day I honor my mother and my memories of her. Last week my friend and I went out to dinner. She mentioned it was her mother’s birthday and how much she still misses her. She said no one told us it would be this hard.
Every year I post the same entry about my mother. At Easter this year my sister and I laughed about the curses she inflicted on us: the love of everything Christmas and never thinking you have enough presents for everyone, giving Easter baskets overflowing with candy and fun toys and surprising people with a gift just because.
My mother had a generosity of spirit. She was funny and smart and the belle of every ball. She always had music going in the kitchen as she worked so she could sing along. She played Frank and Tony and Johnny and from her I learned the old songs. My mother drew all the relatives, and her house was filled. My cousins visited often. She was their favorite aunty. My mother loved to play Big Boggle, and we’d sit for hours at the kitchen table and play so many games we’d lose track of the time. Christmas was always amazing, and she passed this love to all of us. We traveled together, she and I, and my mother was game for anything. I remember Italy and my mother and me after dinner at the hotel bar where she’d enjoy her cognac. She never had it any other time, but we’re on vacation she said and anything goes. I talked to her just about every day, as did my sisters. I loved it when she came to visit. We’d shop, have dinner out then play games at night. I always waited on her when was here. I figured it was the least I could do.
My mother loved extreme weather shows, TV judges and crime. She never missed Judge Judy. She also liked quiz shows and she and I used to play Jeopardy together on the phone at night. She always had a crossword puzzle book with a pen inside on the table beside her chair, and I used to try to fill in some of the blanks. On the dining room table was often a jig saw puzzle, and we all stopped to add pieces on the way to the kitchen. My mother loved a good time.
She did get feisty, and I remember flying slippers aimed at my head when I was a kid. She expertly used mother’s guilt and, “I’ll do it myself,” was her favorite weapon. We sometimes drove her crazy, and she let us know, none too quietly.We never argued over politics. She kept her opinions close. We sometimes argued over other things, but the arguments never lasted long.
I still think to reach for the phone and call my mother when I see something interesting or have a question I know only she can answer. When I woke up this morning, my first thought was of her, and I cried a little.