My Mother, My Friend….

That is how she signed every card to me after I was an adult.
I love you,
Your Mother, Your Friend.

2 of the pictures are just black and white copy machine copies of old pictures.  I have the originals but just can’t handle digging through old pictures.  The black and white ones hang on my fridge.  The color one is by my computer.Photo May 08, 2 29 44 PM

 

6 years ago tomorrow my Mother died. It seems like forever ago, it seems like yesterday. I miss her every day. Every.single.day.

She died after a 4 month illness that was never really diagnosed. They ran every test in the world on her. Nothing. The death certificate says, “Failure to Thrive”. That has always made me insane. No one wanted to ‘Thrive” like my Mother.  Saying goodbye to her on May 10th, 2008 was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  She was there and then she wasn’t.  And I was Motherless.

She died at home, in the room that is now mine. It doesn’t freak me out because while she died there, she also LIVED there.

My earliest memory was of my Mother and I. We lived in a little 2 bedroom house. I was 2. I remember it snowed and she put me in a cardboard box and dragged me around the yard. We made a huge-to-me snowball and when my Daddy pulled into the driveway we rolled it into his car. I was delighted.

She loved her children and my Daddy and her Grandchildren more than anything in the world. I always knew I was her favorite child.  Maybe my brothers thought the same thing. When I was 6 she read me “The Secret Garden” during the Summer with us laying on my bed at nap time. I can remember the windows being opened and the breeze coming through and me snuggled beside her listening to this fascinating story.

When we moved to this house, I was 9. The neighborhood was full of kids and my house was the favorite place to hang out. My Mother never let a child leave her house without a “Jean Goodie Bag”. She got a Ziploc bag and filled it with whatever goodies we had in the house. There were always Little Debbies.

She buried her Mom and Dad, a brother, a much loved sister and her son. She never quite got over that. She buried a Mother and Father In-Law that she loved dearly. I remember her telling me that when she and Daddy first got married she thought she was a little better than his family. She said she was young and stupid then. She was a ‘city’ girl and he was a ‘country’ boy. She said she quickly learned that his Mother was the wisest, kindest woman she had ever met. They had a special bond. I remember sitting at my Mammaw’s house and Mother cutting out beautiful paper dolls and clothes for me and me coloring them. She always drew little things on pieces of paper. She could draw beautifully but never really drew ‘big’ things.

She loved practical jokes and was forever popping out and scaring us. We had a tree house with a window and one night all the neighborhood kids were up there and she got a ladder and climbed to the second story window and knocked. I am surprised we didn’t kill ourselves getting down. She loved scary things and would always call it ‘delicious terror.’

She was the 2nd oldest of 10 children and said she doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t have a baby brother or sister on her hip. She was a 22 year old nursing student at UAB who modeled occasionally for department stores on the weekends and Daddy was a pitcher for the Minor League Braves when they met. They knew each other 6 weeks before they got married and immediately moved to Lawton, Oklahoma for Spring Training. They returned home a few months later after my Daddy hurt his arm and could no longer play. But she always loved the Braves. She followed them every single season and knew every player’s name and their background. No one could talk when her Braves were playing.

We didn’t go to church every Sunday or honestly most Sundays because we always had to visit my Grandparents to help them out, but she was the one of the most Godly woman I have ever met. I still find pieces of paper around the house with things she had written, always in green ink, Bible verses or thoughts that she had. Each time I find one I feel like she is sending me a gift from Heaven. Her marked up Bible is one of my favorite possessions.

She would call me to tell me it was raining or cold. She called me every night to say “Good night baby”. When I moved to California she called me every single morning to make sure I was awake for work. We watched the 2nd tower fall on 9/11, over 2,000 miles from each other. I wanted to be home so badly I could taste it.

I get so envious sometimes when I see pictures of women with their Moms and I think, “Why can I not have my Mom?   Why can’t she be with us and go places with us? The last 5 years have been very hard financially for us but we live here rent free. I often wonder if my prayers to God to take care of Keilee and I meant that she had to die. I KNOW God doesn’t work that way but I have thought that before.

She drove me nuts at times. She always had advice for everything. I just wasn’t wise enough to realize that she was right. I wish I had her voice on my answering machine. My Dad remarried 4 years ago and kept the same home phone number. On my iPhone it is still a goofy picture of her with a Christmas bow on her head and it still says “Mom”. I just can’t change it. Even after 6 years.

She loved that I was homeschooling Keilee.  She never saw her perform on stage or do any of the amazing things she does but I know she would be so proud of her.  My biggest regret is that Keilee didn’t really get to know her. My Mom had been sick on and off since Keilee was 6. She remembers little things; Mom is the first person who put mascara on her and she will always have that memory but I want more. I want Keilee to know the Mother I knew. Keilee is so much like her in so many ways; she loves playing jokes on people, she loves scary things, she laughs at things that are sad to most people, she loves to go to garage sales and junking around, she loves jewelry and even has Mom’s jewelry box and all her jewelry, she can take one bite of food and know exactly what is in it and so much more.

Anytime my life was hard or I was going through anything she would tell me it would all be all right and I would always say, “Promise me?” and she would always say, “I promise”. Some days when things are so dark and hard I can almost hear her whisper, “I promise”.

I read something on Instagram this week that said, “I wish we could visit people in Heaven.”   Oh how I wish that too.

Happy Mother’s Day Momma,
I love you and miss you so,
One day…
Karen

“The death of a mother is the first sorrow wept without her.   ~Unknown
“My mom is a never-ending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune.” Graycie Harmon

 

Linking with
Mary at “Collage Friday
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday
Kris at “Weekly Wrap-Up”

 

15 thoughts on “My Mother, My Friend….”

  1. Crying…great big tears for the joys and sorrows you have shared with us. Love you! Your mama raised a beautiful lady and you are doing the same with Kei!

  2. Such a beautifully written tribute to your mother. Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life with us.

  3. What a beautiful tribute to an amazing woman! You have so many lovely memories to cherish, though I wish you still had your mom with you. I lost my dad in 2001. One thing he loved was comic books. Every time a comic book movie comes out we all talk about how much he would have loved it or not if it wasn’t accurate! Thank God we know we’ll see our parents again some day!

  4. I have this theory that when we are thinking about those who have gone before us it is because they are with us, walking by us, holding our hands and encouraging us on. Sometimes I think of my Grandmother and just know that she is with us in some way.

    This is such a beautiful post Karen. It is a tribute to your Mom, but also for Keilee, to have the legacy of such a special woman. Not all are fortunate enough to have that.

    Thinking of you today.
    Jess

  5. Oh, sweet friend, what a beautiful tribute to your mom. Such special memories! You have me in tears as I type this, but happy ones, happy that you have allowed us to share in the love and life that you shared with her.

  6. This is such a wonderful tribute to your mother. You are also a lovely living tribute to your mother with your kind heart and sweetness. Thank you so much for sharing a little bit of your mother with the rest of us this Mother’s Day weekend!

  7. Karen, this is very beautifully written. My close friend lost her mother a few days ago and we are all going to the services tomorrow. I am sure she is starting to feel everything that you felt and continue to feel. Prayers and hugs to you.
    Blessings
    Diane

  8. I agree. What a wonderful and beautiful tribute from one special lady to another. Keilee knows your mum because she knows you. Just as you reflect your mother’s love in everything you do, so Keilee also reflects her mother’s love (you) in everything she does.
    I love your blog, your honesty, your vulnerability.
    I hope you have a very special mother’s day and a lovely weekend. x

  9. I really loved reading this post. Many times I don’t read blogs about families because I think, “Why do I want to know about them?” I’ve read several of your posts over the past few months and remembered that you were homeschooling Keilee and how admirable that was. (I’m a former teacher and know that I couldn’t live with and homeschool my sons.) Just looking at the photos of you two together, it’s clear that you share a very special bond. Keilee does know your mom–through YOU and how wonderful you are to her, all that you do for her, and all that she is because of you. My mom died four years ago and, although I cared for her while she was sick for the last 3+ years of her life, we didn’t have that same relationship because she wasn’t like your mother. Please know that you are SO lucky and so blessed to have what you had in your mom and how much that will impact your grandkids, too. Happy Mother’s Day.

  10. Oh Karen, my heart breaks for you. I know you miss your mother so very much. This post is a treasure – all of those wonderful memories of your mother – it’s as if your mom made all those memories with you to sustain you one day when she would be gone.

    This was a beautiful tribute to your mom. Hugs to you.

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