Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Remember Mama

I am home for a couple of days before I head off to the maelstrom of freak geological/weather events that is the East Coast...

I had a nice week in Seattle, although most of my entertainment plans didn't pan out (the zoo parking lot was completely full, and other miscalculations).  Mom and I drove up to The Cabin to visit with B-Z, Bob and the kids/babies, and that was a lot of fun.  The babies are getting SO big!  Carsie is scooting around everywhere and pulling himself up on anything handy.  Hadley is a 4 year old dynamo, Maddie was super cute in her braids and flouncy skirt (I didn't check to see if she had on underpants, but probably not), and Allie -- cutest thing EVER.  The parents are a delight as well.  Mom was put to work placing stickers on campaign flyers, which she did well.

Whenever I spend a week helping care for Mom, I'm awed at the love and devotion of my sibs who take care of her on a daily basis.  While she is (thankfully) still able to dress, bathe and feed herself, it's an exhausting task to keep her occupied, to answer the same questions over and over, and to make sure she has her meals when she wants them, etc.  You guys are the BEST.

Anyway, I was thinking about all the good things I remember about Mom:

  1. Lois was an only child, with two parents who thought she was the greatest thing ever.  When she'd enter a room, her dad would proclaim "THERE SHE IS!" and she owned the room.  She was always the person who was the center of the action.
  2. Super artist, craftster, florist.  Mom could take a stick, 2 rocks and some moss and create a beautiful arrangement.  She sewed beautifully, I remember her knitting complex Aran and color projects, her Christmas decorations were always fab.  And she painted in both oils and watercolors, drew and sketched beautifully and sold many paintings.
  3. Great cook.  Her potato salad, mac & cheese, scalloped potatoes: Legend.  And no one could bake a pie as good as Mom's.  Her apple pie is still my idea of the perfect breakfast.
  4. Amazing storyteller.  This lady could tell a joke like a Vegas entertainer, including accents if needed.  As someone who is completely incapable of telling a joke, this talent awed me.  
  5. Hostess with the mostest.  I remember my folks giving fabulous cocktail parties, the kind you see on "Mad Men" with pitchers of martinis, cigarettes galore, broadway show tunes on the stereo and people all dressed up.  So cool.
  6. Snazzy dresser.  Back in the 60s, I used to LOVE going through Mom's closet, with her boxes of matching shoes and purses, hats, dresses etc.  Her glove drawer!  Her hanky drawer!  Her jewelry box!  All scented with her signature "Hope" perfume.
  7. Voracious reader of hard-boiled detective novels.  You couldn't convince her to read anything "Literary" but she did love her Robert Parker, Elmore Leonard, Tony Hillerman crime novels.  
Those are just a few things I remember about Mom.  While she is unable to do most of these things now, she's still our Mom.  And every day I was there, she told me how happy she was that I was there.  And I made sure to tell her how much I love her.


Katie said...

aww. LOVE this post.

Some days, it's definitely hard to remember just how amazing and awesome Mimi was back when she was 100%. But she really was the greatest lady around, and I LOVE finding all of her amazing artwork around!

Unknown said...

So sweet. I have so many great memories of Mimi when we were growing up. Here are my two favorites. 1. getting to visit her at Rosaia Brothers florist shop. She would let me sit on the stool and watch her, or she would give me flowers and let me make little flower arrangements. 2. Getting to play with her chest of porcelain dolls. She let me take them out to play with when I got big enough to "take care of them". And you are right about her closet. I thought it was so cool to see all the stuff she had stuffed in there when I was a kid.

Cara said...

The smell of her perfume is what i always think about. Whenever i smeel that perfume in the air, i instantly think of Mimi. Most of the time I hate that I have not been back to see her since I moved to VA, but part of me is happy that I dont know her any other way than healthy.

Laurie said...

I'm glad you remember her as she was at her best. And her perfume is def. one that is very "Mimi".

Sue said...

You are the sweetest daughter ever.

zaideafraidey said...

you make me cry, and what a wonderful reminder to us all. It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget who the person really is. One thing I will always treasure about mom is she "wasn't boring" and certainly instilled that in us. Thanks for the great persepective L.