For Mom

If you’ve kept up on my blog over the last year, you know I often mention my mom.

On her birthday a couple of weeks ago, I posted a note about her on Facebook.

I said I’d been quoting her a lot lately.

A few friends commented and wondered exactly which of her sayings I’d been quoting.

You see, not all of her sayings are polite to quote, and these friends knew it.

She’s a spicy-tongued gal and if I slipped into “Sandra speech” too often or too freely, I could get myself into trouble.

Since Mother’s Day is approaching, there are a few things I want to say about my Mom:

1. She cannot tell a lie under any circumstances. Consider this conversation I had with her when I was in college:

“Mom, do I look fat?”

“Oh, don’t ask me that!” She said. “Take it back right now because you know I can’t lie.”

“Well, that means you think I’m fat,” I said.

“Just around the hips,” she replied. “Now let’s change the subject, and don’t ask me questions if you don’t want the truth because you know I can’t lie.”

2. She has so many friends she can hardly keep up with them all. One of my nieces said, “Grandma, I tried to call you all day yesterday but your line was always busy.”  Mom quickly replied, “I can’t help it. I’m popular!”  She’s been teased about that ever since, and her response is always the same, “What did you want me to say? I really am popular! That’s why my line is always busy.  Sometimes I think I don’t have time for any more friends because I’m too damn popular as it is.”

3. She is the best listener and the best cheerleader in the world. Throughout my life when I’ve had either good news or bad, she’s the first person I call.  If it’s good news, she’s ready to celebrate.  If it’s bad news, she’s there to cry with me or kill the person that hurt me.  I absolutely dreaded calling her to tell her about my cancer diagnosis because I knew she would be devastated and so worried.  Finally, when I called her, she cried with me and then said, “You know what? I know you.  I know you’re strong and determined and that you will beat this.  I know you will fight with everything you’ve got and I’ll be with you every step of the way.” Through her words and her example, she’s taught me there’s a time to cry and there’s a time to wipe away the tears and march boldly on. We can mope for a moment, but then we pick ourselves up and go on. And whining? Forget about it. She won’t put up with it for a nano second. “It never does a bit of good to whine about anything!”

4. If I hurt, she hurts. Period. I’ve definitely inherited that from her. When my girls hurt, I am totally connected to their pain.  She embroidered a pillow for me with one of my favorite sayings, “Always remember, I am the rock in your garden, and you are the blossom in mine.” She absolutely is my rock and I hope I can be the same kind of rock in my daughters’ gardens because they definitely are the blossoms in mine.

5. She is the hardest worker I know but she knows when to quit and relax. (I’m still trying to get the “relax” part down.)  Just a few weeks ago when Annie and I and I dropped in to tell her we were headed to the airport to return home, we found her on her patio painting the screen door.  “When I finish this, I’m going to paint that antique cupboard and the posts around the patio.  Then I’m going to start planting my flowers.  I’ve got it all planned out.”  A few days earlier, she pulled out her gardening notebook and showed me the drawings for her flowerbeds. At 77 years old, she does not stop working.  Her relaxation is to watch Law & Order and embroidery gorgeous quilt squares and read one book after another.

One of mom’s many projects

6. I have two brothers and one sister. During the course of our lifetimes, Mom has rescued each one of us from at least one major crisis. By rescue, I mean swooped in and cradled us as adults just like she did when we were children.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have you for my mom.