Four Years as an Orphan

Mom Jumping the Waves at Weekapaug

When my mother died, after ten years in the prison of Alzheimer’s Disease, my eldest (at the time) nephew, Will once again wowed us with his wisdom. He told us that only now were we all adults because we didn’t have any parents any more. (Wish I could remember the exact words he used. I will have to ask his mother!)

So, I’ve been an adult for four years now and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Not only am I the first in line to die now but I am getting creakier but still feel so youthful (most of the time.) I am trying to spend the day with joyful memories of mom rather than being sad … and I’ve only had to wipe away the tears a few times so far.

Bear with Apple at Red Gate

Mom rented a house in Weekapaug, RI for several summer and we were so lucky to be able to spend the month with her there. The drive with three little kids (and Flo, my French daughter) was always an adventure and I remember thanking God for Knights Inns. We’d stop half way for the night and Kate loved the decor in the hotel and I needed to sleep! We had such good times at the beach and one of these days I will scan all the photographs so that I can share more. Weekapaug friends are still in our lives and when we win the lottery, we’re going to buy a house there at the beach. Maybe Red Gate – a huge old cottage that was our favorite, I think. A rambling old home that had been in the same family for generations. It had several porches and was near enough to the water that you could hear the waves at night.

Mom & Kate at the Zoo

When mom visited us in Cincinnati, she loved to take the kids out for a day with GranJan. Up until she couldn’t travel anymore, she would borrow my van and drive to the mall and the day was always a favorite of the kids – mostly the girls because my son was so young – but they’d shop for clothes and toys, have lunch and Auntie Anne’s pretzels. Build A Bear was always a favorite stop. Toy R Us was across the street and there were hours spent there, too. Mom loved the zoo, too. We were always members of the zoo and loved going down there for an hour or for a day …  and in the winter, it was even more fun because the animals were (mostly) more active!

She was a task-master, a critic, a tennis fanatic (both on the courts and around the courts), a caring daughter, sister, aunt, friend. We were lucky to have her for as long as we did! My life today is better because of her … even with the disagreements that we had! 🙂

I miss her. I know she’s free of her disease now and I’m sure she’s proud of my three kids and of me. She’s watching over us every day – and she’s smiling!

Gone knitting!

On Mothers’ Labor

A Woman's Work... ?

Here’s to the mothers who work on Labor Day … and the other holidays, at night, 24/7/365.

I was a stay-at-home mom for 20 years or more and on this Labor Day weekend, I would like to pay tribute to those working moms (many of whom do not get a pay check for a job well done) who give up a piece of themselves every day to build a strong-bodied, competent, compassionate, happy, productive child. It’s not an easy job – and there is certainly no paid vacation and the benefits are few and far between.

When I was a stay-at-home mom, I wore many hats: cook, cleaning lady, laundress, nurse, chef, personal shopper, personal assistant, secretary (for a group of four), therapist, doctor, taxi driver, teacher, CEO, CFO, community and school volunteer, etc. I loved that jobs and I’d take it back in a heartbeat. Only problem is, now that I’m single, that kisses and hugs will not pay my health insurance (or any other) bill!

The hours were long, the pay was practically nonexistent but I loved it. Too bad that it isn’t a job that’s sufficiently valued so that when this job is phased out, there’s not really any severance pay.

So, today, I honor those moms, like me, who work day in and day out for hugs and kisses (and many who work at a “real” job, too). If moms ruled the world, wouldn’t it be a better place!?

Gone knitting!