Sunday, May 8, 2011


10 years ago I lost my Mom. It was on May 8th. It wasn't Mother's Day, but today, May 8th the 10 years after she died it is.

I miss my Mom. I talk to her sometimes and hope that she is still guiding me as she did so well. She was a good Mom and I didn't appreciate her half as much as I should have.

She was a stay at home mom (as they are called today). She had four children and all were four years apart. There is a fifth that was still born. A brother that was never named and I am not even sure when he was born. I need to ask my sister about that.

My mom was great with us as kids and should have been a teacher. Instead she just taught us. Arts and crafts, cooking, sewing, gardening, the joy of reading and how to be strong. That was most important. She was a stay at home mom but she was not a woman that let my dad make all the calls. That is another thing she taught me. To stand equal with my husband, to communicate and to live and love together.

She didn't work at a job - but she was involved in many groups and events in our community. The Garden Club, the after school program, the swim club, the women's club at church, Sunday school and others. I remember her as a strong leader in all of those groups and she was a role model for us children when we went out into the world. I didn't join the garden club, but when I worked I worked well and my employers saw that. I quickly became a manager and the person in charge. I attribute that to my mom as role model.

Mom was very creative. She helped us kids with school projects but then she got into it herself. For Halloween she loved to dress up. I remember one year she had our front porch done up and she was dressed like a witch. She opened the door to this very small girl (maybe 4?)in angel wings and didn't even say anything. The girl took one look at mom and screamed (that high pitch that only little girls can reach) and ran back down the stairs to her parents.

One Halloween when my brother was in kindergarten my mom built the Great pumpkin. She used chicken wire and paper mache' and had it on our front porch. My brother's kindergarten class walked down the street to see it. The teacher loved it and brought other classes down. We lived in a small town and school was just two blocks up the hill. Oh, and yes, we walked there up the hill in the snow.

As mothers do, mom used to tell us "listen to me, I know what I am talking about and I don't want you to make the mistakes I did". When I went thru my twenties, I laughed at that and went on doing what I thought was right and making mistakes. When I was 28, I had an ephiany and called her. I said "Mom, you were right. I should have listened to you." She loved that and told it was okay, I could start listening now.

Mom was a good cook but for some reason it is not her good cooking it is remembered but my dad's cooking and my mom's bad cooking. I don't like that. At family gatherings now people talk about how mom burned this and burned that while my dad cooked a leg of lamb to perfection. Well, I speak up and tell them I remember the awesome turkey my mom would cook on Thanksgiving and her meatball recipe that is perfect and I use today. She had German and Pennsylvanian Dutch cooking from her grandmother. Good food. I remember my mom using the crockpot a lot. When she passed, it was one thing of hers that I got and it makes me comforted to use it now.

Mom wrote something once, in her later years, that was for us four kids. It was a few lines about each of us. About me she wrote -
Betts -
Third child.
Born natural childbirth
When she was born I thought no one else had ever had a child.
Was creative, artistic and a writer, drawing and won prize in NY State for a sculpture for school.
When she was six she wrote and illustrated a book about horses.
Became First Class in Girl Scouts
Loved dogs and taught our dog Prince lots of tricks when she was just 13. She had patience with him.
Hotwalked polo ponies at the polo games. Did it for weeks out of love of horses before she realized others were and she could get paid for it.
Attended college and wrote for newspaper. Became Editor.
In her career she is managing people.

She wrote in a similar fashion about my siblings also, tracing her thoughts about us from their birth (my sister - born while father was in college, a great joy to us and my brother - He came early, only weighed 4lbs 10oz)

The top of the page said "The Joys of my Life" It still makes me cry when I read it and I have read it many times.

I miss you Mom. And I thank you for all that you taught me in so many things and in so many ways.

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