Tag Archives: mom

I Wish I Were…


My mother died in March 1983, almost 30 years ago.  She was 49 and I was 23.

A lot of living has happened in between then and now, joy and sadness and everyday stuff I would have loved sharing with her.  At what age do you get over the ache of wanting to put your arms around your mom, snuggle on the couch together and just be?

I wish I were able to bring her back for a visit.

If I could have 1 day for each year, I’d have 30 days.  Thirty days for her to get to know the outlaws (how our extended family refers to those souls fortunate enough to marry in).  Wanda, Don, Stan and Phillip have personalities and talents she would have liked and interests she shared.  And they could begin to know why we thought she was such a great mom.

Thirty days for her to wrap her love and laughter around the grandchildren she never knew.  Did she dream of having them when we were young?  Kristen, Alex, Emily, Heidi and Blair have heard the stories and seen the pictures, but none of that comes close to making up for not having been rocked in her lap, read to, and cherished as only a grandmother can do.

Thirty days for her four children to show her that her love, her tears, her prayers and her guidance were not given in vain.  I think she would be proud of who we have become, of how we have tried to live up to the standards she set.

And at the end of thirty days, I would let her go.  How could I keep her from the glories of heaven?  Dad would be waiting for her.  After being separated for 20 years after she died, I know he’d be waiting for her to get back to her rocking chair on the front porch of heaven, right next to his. And maybe, just maybe, this would hold me over for the next 30 years.

Momma said…


“Remember your home training.”

You know what it means and you know who said it.  In fact, if you’ll close your eyes and be still for just a minute, you can hear her say it even now.

I enjoy idioms – those clever collections of words that may result in directives or descriptions.  So just for fun this week, I asked friends and co-workers, “What is something your mother or grandmother said to you as you were growing up that you have not forgotten?”

My mom often said, “Be sure your sins will find you out.”  Well, that has been a cloud over my head all my life.  Start to do a little something I probably shouldn’t and it’s like a hand comes out of the cloud and taps my shoulder.  This saying, I might add, has had the intended effect.  Mom would be happy with the results.

“You are old enough for your wants not to hurt you.”   Sandy’s mother said this, as did my husband’s.  Frankly, it IS a little painful to reach the age when you are expected to accept disappointments with some level of maturity.  This one goes hand in hand with Sandy’s other contribution from her mother:  “Life isn’t fair.”  Another bitter verbal pill, but one we have to swallow throughout our lives since life has yet to be fair all the time.  Which one has Sandy passed on to her children?  “Life isn’t fair.”

The appearance theme followed behavior.  “Never leave the house looking like a can of kraut.”  I had never heard this one, but Natalie hears it in her head every day, especially on Saturday when she doesn’t have (or want) to dress for work.  However, there’s something about kraut that makes me think of smell more so than dress.  Not a good combination.  Speaking of dress, didn’t most moms warn about not leaving the house wearing less than your best underwear?  The day you went out with a tear or hole would be the day you had a car wreck and someone else, presumably hospital or emergency personnel, would see your holey underwear, to your everlasting shame.

Donnie’s mother gave her a little mystery to ponder.  “Every goodbye is not gone; every shut eye is not asleep; and everything that glitters is not gold.”  Even though she could repeat this from a young age, “it was not until I was grown that I really understood what she meant.”

We had more laughs sharing the “what they didn’t say” expressions.  “Don’t get caught behind the barn,” was what Bernadette’s grandmother said to her.  Bernadette wondered for years what her grandmother was talking about, because they didn’t have a barn.  Back then no one would warn a girl not to get pregnant by actually using the “p” word – it just wasn’t spoken aloud.  When Berndette’s uncle would get dressed up and leave the house for an evening on the town, her grandmother knew he was dressed with the hope of success.  She’d stand in the doorway and holler out to him, “Boy, you better put a cap on your head.”  And Bernadette would wonder why her uncle needed a cap when the weather was warm and dry.

By now, I’m sure you have come up with more of these wonderful expressions that have helped make us who we are today.  And perhaps, if you are feeling a little guilty for not following your mom’s admonishments, remember:  “This too shall pass.”