It's been 11 years since my "Mom" passed away and hardly a day goes by when I'm not thinking about her. You reach for the phone to tell her good news, bad news, accomplishments, exciting news, about something that made you cry or laugh. Now that conversation tends to start with "I wish I could tell my mom about ......." or "mom would laugh about Cleo and the Chipmunk". I have tried to make a point of keeping her alive in my life. When talking to my kids I will often start a story off with "Nana or Granma would be ... (stealing that last chocolate bar or looking for a cookie)".
My mom was in my life for 44 years and I was also lucky enough to have my "mom-in-law" in my life for 37 years. Their influence was tremendous. These 2 women helped to make me the mom I am.
Being the only daughter in a family of 5 and the baby to boot, I had a fair bit of responsibility (my brothers would say I was a brat - who did a pretty good job of a "pout" whenever I wanted something - not true). My brothers, John and Jim did a wonderful job of introducing me to 2 more women, who have left their mark on me. Maureen and Eileen added 6 children to our family. Mom now became Nana and the official babysitter of these 6 children ranging in age from 0 to 5. Being 12 years old at the time I was "in training" for 15 years before my own children came along.
It wasn't unusual to have John drive by the local park on a Friday night to get me to come babysit. My favourite job (non paying) in the world. Changing diapers, burping, walking them to sleep, leaning over their cribs patting their backs, I learned at the expense of my nieces and nephews. My children Andrew, David and Rachel thank Danny, Jacqueline, Jamie, Julie, Colleen and Miranda for helping to get the kinks out of my techniques (this was the time of diaper pins - ouch)...
My mom had this quiet disposition about her. She loved having her family around her. As children we were a part of every aspect of their lives. If there was a party we were included, we were there until we fell asleep on a chair. We learned all the old army songs, wasn't sure what they were talking about thankfully, but we could sing along with them. Christmas dinners - if there were too many of us, there wasn't any fretting about where people would sit or if we had enough dishes, the fact that we were all together was more important than the table settings. One big happy family, lol, no this isn't a fairy tale, we all had our moments and most of the time mom just let us sort them out ourselves.
|Mom in the middle, her family just keeps on growing.|
Mom-in-law was also the ruler of a family of 5. I married the baby and only boy. We really are a remarkable combination. :). I went from being the only daughter to a daughter-in-law and adding 2 more sisters-in-law into the mix and 5 more nieces and nephews. Girl Power was starting to rule.
These 2 remarkable women were born in an age that helped to change the way women were treated. They grew up through wars, depressions, women's lib, burning bras, rising divorce rates, the maple leafs actually winning the Stanley Cup. (lol just had to add that in) And during all this still kept their family values, encouraged all of their children (3 each), grandchildren (6+5) and great grandchildren (14 + 7) (gosh I hope I have added right) to instill those values in their own families.
They introduced us to baking (was there anything better than opening that door after school to the aroma of the current fresh fruit pie baking). Gardening - every year at this time my mom and I would go out to buy her petunias, marigolds, and geraniums. Jim's mom would start checking on her peonies and making sure the rhubarb and raspberry patch were ready to fill up her freezer.
These 6 women (Mom, Mom, Maureen, Eileen, Lindy and Deni) all so different from one another, but when it came to their most important job all being so alike. Hard when they had to be, but most of the time "silly putty" in the hands of their children.
I was also lucky enough to move into a neighbourhood as my children were born where I was introduced and fell in love with 4 beautiful women and their families. Lindsey, Mary Jo, Dale and Sharon helped me raise my children. Tonsils, chicken pox, birthday parties, hockey, soccer, car pooling, school pick ups. They made my life as a mother so much easier. Sharing worries and achievements over a coffee and the odd glass of wine. A big hug to all the Tribbling Women, the best friends, the best confidants.
Happy Mothers Day to all the Grandmas, Moms, Sisters, Aunts, Nieces, Daughters in the world, continue spreading the love, dedication to family, causes, true love of this planet earth. You make a difference in so many lives.
love you mom always in my heart xoxoxoxo