Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mom's Day

Ok! Talk about timing! How ironic, I have this brain lapse about how old I am and then I realize it's just because I'm in some sort of denial or something about my Mom's death and here it is Mother's Day!
So I've started my "journey" and as Bette Davis said in "All about Eve"," Fasten your seatbelts, we're in for a bumpy ride!" Or at least I am. I'm just going to post some memories - not all the time, just now and then when something pops up! I promise to still be cheerful and sarcastic about other things! So...this is some of what I remember. If anybody notices a big elephant in the room at times, you might need to call my attention to it. I will probably just be standing under it and not even notice. I want to thank everyone in advance for supporting me through all of this. I must say, I am so happy to have found my Blogger friends! I tell you guys things that I never have the courage to bring up to people I see in person everyday!
By the way, I haven't yet learned how to load old photos up on my blog bizarre as this may seem...the photo is NOT of my Mother. it's Loretta Young the actress.My mom looked so much like her that it was very hard for me to ever watch a film with Loretta Young in it. I would always be just transfixed on her.
SO! Here we go!
 My Mother died after several years of battling cancer. As I try to look back now, it's like remembering an old black and white movie. The movie "Rebecca" comes to mind. One of those Film Noir movies. An air of mystery, intrigue and ghosts. She died two weeks before Halloween. She had been at home until September of that year until the day came when she could no longer handle the pain and had to be rushed to the hospital. I remember it being a cool day and the windows were open in my classroom at the Junior High. I heard an ambulance and I thought to myself, they are going to get my Mom. My sister told me later that she heard it at the Elementary School and thought the same thing. We never knew for sure, but it was about that time, in the late afternoon, that they came to get her.
Before that she was at home. I would help her in and out of bed. I would help her change her bandage over the ugly oozy scar where her breast had been. I would sit with her and listen to her stories and instructions. She always told my sister and my father that she would beat this thing AGAIN and be well. She said that there were new discoveries everyday and she would just hold on until they found a cure.
But to me she would tell me what I needed to remember and what I needed to do when she died..
She wasn't like most Mothers. She was a stay at home Mom who I never saw without make-up until she was very ill. Even then she would have on her lipstick. She had beautiful hands and well manicured polished nails. She looked like an elegant movie star to me. Actually she looked like Loretta Young. I can not look at a photo of that actress without feeling my heart hurt.
My Mom could draw any dog or animal in pencil on my school paper and make it look just like the real thing. She was always crafting and decorating.  We were the only ones in the neighborhood with a pink living room. Our bedrooms were our favorite colors with canopy beds. I can remember how she would throw our P.J.'s in the dryer for a few minutes to make them warm for us before we went to bed. She was always doing special things for us.
Her name was Violette, with two T's as she always said "That's the French way of spelling it" She was half French. the other half was Swedish but she said that the Swedish half didn't count. She hated her father who was Swedish and who had died before I was born. Apparently he was an alcoholic who would go into drunken rages against HER mother. My mom had to drop out of high school in her senior year to care for her own mother who was dying of cancer. That was a shameful secret that she wanted no one to know. She was always embarrassed that she had never graduated. She always wanted to be a nurse. She wanted me to be a nurse. But that's not what I wanted to be.
She was the most supersitious person I have ever known. I can remember her crying to my father because of an owl hooting outside the window and how it meant someone was about to die. We couldn't let a rocking chair rock without someone in  it, an umbrella couldn't be opened in the house and no shoes on a table.
She also heard voices. Deceased family members talking to her. And once she saw the Devil in the ceiling exhaust fan at the end of the hall. Yeah, I could never look up at it when it was going. It terrified me. She had premonitions and told me stories about strange things that had happened in her life. My father was just the opposite. He never believed in God or superstitions, ghosts or the afterlife, dreams and always said "When you're dead , you're Dead. He did admit how once when they were first married that they heard the floor board creak outside their room and watched the door handle turn and then nothing. He had sprung out of bed and ran through the house only to find it locked up tight. He had no explanation for it.
So...all the time that that my Mom was talking to me about dying, I would be reassuring her that she wasn't. I can remember finally making her promise that if she did, that she wouldn't come back and haunt me or talk to me. She was geniunely hurt. But I explained how that it would scare me. Finally she promised. I have always felt ghosts in the house we grew up in. The house wasn't old and my parents actually built it just before I was born. But I know there were ghosts.
That's enough remembering for now.


Georgina said...

What an interesting woman!!! I'm so glad you're going down your path and remembering things about your mom...that's how she stays alive, memories. I love the superstitions...reminded me of my own grandmother from Mexico...she had a few herself.

Just keep remembering and I hope you're keeping a journal of all of this, writing down personal notations of how all of this made you feel...could open some wonderful windows into your own self.

Take care and God bless and thank you for your lovely e-card you sent me. That means so much to me as you do.


sassypackrat said...

Happy to hear you are starting your journey. Memories, good and bad are important. They are times in your life that have shaped who you are. Getting them out in the open can be very healing and can lead to the discovery of more memories that hopefully can be pieced together for a fuller picture in the end. I have issues with my mother and haven't worked thru them yet and am not ready to talk about them so I find you so inspiring. And maybe I'll be ready to start that journey too.

Autumnforest said...

Your mother sounds very magical. I think people take on even more magical qualities when they leave us so young. They become immortalized by a time in their life when they were still very young and not fully matured yet, so they remain that age forever in our minds. My brother died at 43. I remember when he was in his late 30s, he said, "I won't make it to 50." I thought that was a horrid thing to say. He talked a lot about the dead folks in the family and all the early deaths. I thought he was morbid, but in some way perhaps he knew deep inside he was leaving early and his interactions with the other side were a common and frequent reminder. Perhaps it was so for your mother. She may have just known she was between two worlds. When my brother was dying, he promised he would haunt our childhood haunted home where our parents were supposedly already haunting. He took a nap and and woke up and said, "I was flying around Aspen Grove." He described the changes in the place and then said, "Mamoo was there." Mamoo was our cousin "Matthew" who died at 38. As a kid I couldn't say his name so I called him Mamoo and the name stuck. He named other family members who were there including our grandparents from Norway that we never met. He said, "Grandpa Thorvaldsen was shorter than I imagined." I felt comforted to know that when he passed, this was waiting for him, but that he could experience it ahead of time might have been a way to make him comfortable with being greeted on the other side. I'm glad you're remembering your mom because even when you don't get a lot of time with a parent, they affect every preference, hobby, interest, and talent you have. That's how we live forever through the generations.

oldblackcatboo said...

Yes you are right Georgina, I need to be writing this down...maybe I'll just print it out and make notes. I'm not very good about doing it with pen and paper (no spellcheck!)

oldblackcatboo said...

Sassy! When you are ready I will be here! To listen or try to give any advice I can find! (or you are always welcomed to email me ANYTIME!) Take care dear friend! - Cindi

oldblackcatboo said...

Autumn, I'm so sorry about you losing your brother and you inspire me in the way you are able to talk about him and feel happy that he went in peace and is in a happy "afterlife".
The statement about "won't make it to 50" made me think of my First Love. When we were in our early 20's he said he had a recurring dream that he would die when he was 50. He was always so sure of it. I think he was willing it to happen. I heard through mutual friends how he was drinking a lot at home. He died at 47. I always wondered what his dream was about.

yoborobo said...

Cindi - this is so interesting. You have some very definite memories of your mom. Isn't it strange that we don't think we have many memories, but once we start writing them down, it opens the door a little wider, I think. I should do this, too. Just to see what pops out. xox - Pam

send gift to pakistan said...

sorry for your mom.Mom is like heaven.