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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

and the cleaning out goes on

Yesterday, I found a Mother's Day Card my oldest sister made for my mother sometime in her childhood. At least, I assume it was childhood based on the rhyming verse and the picture on the front. I gave the card to her today and I don't know what she will decide to do with it. I remember when Mom and Dad moved out of the house in which I grew up. They gave me my yearbooks at that time and prom dresses, probably some pictures but a lot of my stuff stayed. Mom didn't seem to mind, I assumed it was because the stuff held memories for her too. Now the question becomes, do I hold onto things that were special memories between me and my mom for someone else to have to decide what to do with them or do I go ahead and purge these things. There are photos and scrapbooks.

A lot of these things make me cry. I found the other day a mother's day present I made for my mom about four years ago. It was 52 pieces of paper with memories on them or things I wanted her to know I appreciated. It was supposed to be one for every week in the year. Mom read them all the first day. I am so glad I did it when I did. Here are a few of them with some extra explanation from me for your benefit:

Mom, Thank you for always helping me when I get behind. Whether it was in school or housework you are always there to pitch in and often lead the way for me.
There were many nights in high school where Mom and I got giddy with exhaustion because I had waited until the last minute to write a paper and she stayed up with me to type each page as I finished it. I'm sure she would have preferred to be sleeping at 3a.m.

Mom, Thanks for all those peanut butter and brown sugar or fluffanutter sandwiches. Yum, I wish I could get away with eating like that now. Mom always worried that I didn't eat enough and would make these dessert like concoctions to entice me into it (as I do for my own children now). I think she assumed if she got the peanut butter in it was at least a little bit of protein. I used to give half the sandwich away most days. In high school, she would make me milkshakes in the morning to make sure I ate before school.

Your prison work is admirable and a Christian example. I am always filled with pride when I talk about you doing it. Mom used to volunteer at Silverdale Correctional facility with the women inmates. She also traveled to Florida every year to participate in a prison ministry there. Mom had a heart of love for people, all people, and wanted them to know Jesus is always waiting with open arms no matter what has happened before.

I love your chocolate chip cookies. To this day that is my comfort food but none match yours. Typing this one has made me cry because it is still true and I will never get to eat Mom's cookies again. It was the tollhouse recipe but it was something about the way she baked them. I used to eat them until I had a stomach ache because they were so good. A lot of time she would have them baked when I got home from school and often when I came home from college. She used to save me the batter to eat too before we got careful about salmonella.

Remember Kelsey's first bath. You gave it to her while Jeff and I looked on not knowing what to do. Boy, did she scream.  My sister talks about how alone she and her husband felt when Mom drove off after that first week helping with the baby. It was the same for us. How were we ever going to take care of this little baby? I still wonder how I am going to do this without Mom around to answer the questions.

I think that is all the memories I can handle for tonight. I'm not sure if the memories are more intense at the end or if I just let myself get saturated in sad. My keyboard is looking a bit shiny from crying. It's hard to wipe away tears while also typing. I always wanted to be a pretty crier. You know the kind where fat tears roll down from beautiful eyes. Instead, I'm a scrunch up my face, nose gets red kind of weeper. It's not pretty and Jeff is coming home after a two day stay in Knoxville in an hour or so. I'd rather not meet him looking like I lost a bar fight with a water hose. I am lucky to have had so much to lose in a mother but it sure makes the waves of loss come frequently and with persistence.

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