Mom Always Said . . .

jeanne aide

© 2010 Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved and observed.

1. Put on clean underwear before you leave the house, in case you’re in an accident.
(Why clean underwear? Were they going to check my underwear if I’m in an accident?)

2. Don’t put your tongue on any frozen metal pipes.
(Not heeded. Tongue stuck but not for long. Debunked that theory.)

3. Don’t pester hornet’s nests.
(Yep! I messed with a yellow jacket’s nest and went “Ow, ow, ow, ow” all the way home! They got underneath my clothes– clean ones at that.)

4. Girls do not beat up boys.
(Why not? They had it coming. They were always troublemakers.)

5. Act like a lady.
(Why? I didn’t like dresses, hats, dress shoes, skirts, petticoats—who wanted to be a lady anyway?)

6. Eat your onions (or stuffing, parsnips, rutabagas or broccoli); they’re good for you.
(We had the healthiest dogs in the world! Under the table they scooted at mealtimes to chow down all the yucky stuff our little fingers could gather.)

7. No lipstick, makeup, nylons or shaved legs til you’re 16. If you wear these things, you’ll look like a hussy.
(So… after I’m 16, I’ll look like a hussy? I’d seen hussies but they didn’t look all decked out like that.)

8. No dating til you’re 16.
(I was too busy playing football, wrestling, and fixing cars with boys.)

9. Stay away from the railroad trestle.
(Never listened to this. My paper route went from the eastside of town to the south side, with a big river in-between. This meant I had to go all the way downtown, cross the bridge, then head south from my east-side deliveries–or walk the trestle. It was the way to go! It saved 20 minutes off my time.)

10. If someone thought enough of you to send a card or present, you should think enough of them to send a thank-you card.
(A good one, well learned. Seems like we have lost that courtesy a long time ago.)

If you only knew, Mom!

 

Forgetting the Past

happy senior

© 2011  Jeanne E. Webster.  All rights reserved

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Dear Dad:

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Where’ve you been all my life?

A funny face in a photograph.

Where were you during my strife,

Or when I needed to laugh?

I guess life goes on the same;

You went your way, not mine.

You did leave me your name,

With that I’ve done just fine.

Good to see you once again

After all those twenty years.

Don’t care where you’ve been;

You’ve wiped away my tears.

Let’s get on with our “today.”

Reconcile our hearts and souls.

Put aside all those yesterdays,

Let God finally make us whole.

~

Love…

your daughter

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PS:  Fathers are so important to the lives of their daughters.

Once Upon a Mom

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© Jeanne E Webster.   All rights reserved

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“Mom….

Your hair is soft and pretty.”

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“Mom…..

You make the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”

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“Mom….

You tell good bedtime stories.”

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“Mom….

You give nice ‘good night’ hugs.”

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“Mom….

Your kisses make my boo-boos get all better.”

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“Mom….

I like to hold your hand.”

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“Mom….

How come you’re sick?”

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“Mom….

I hate to see you cry.”

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“Mom….

Why do you have to go away?”

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“Mom….

Does it hurt bad?”

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“Mom….

How far away is heaven?”

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“Mom….

Why can’t I go with you?”

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“Mom….

I don’t want you to go!”

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“Mom….

Why can’t Jesus come here to see you?”

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“Mom….

I’ll be a big girl for you.”

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“Mom….

I won’t cry very long.”

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“Mom….

Can I have one more hug and kiss?”

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“Mom….

I love you.”

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“Mom….

———-?”

~

“Mom….

———-!“

Birthday Touches

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© Jeanne E Webster

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Today is my mother’s birthday.  She would have been 95 years old.  She went to her eternal home 18 years ago, there to be welcomed by our Lord Jesus Christ.

I’ve missed her…still do.

I talk to her…

I sense her presence…

I know she is smiling a lot, now that she is at peace.

She had a good upbringing, an upright family, lacked for nothing as a child,

‘cept maybe a close relationship with her father.

Her mother was loving, expressed it so acutely, was an angel in disguise.  Gramma was my guardian angel, I know that beyond a doubt.  She watches over me to this day.  I know.

Mom went to art school with high aspirations, excelled in oil painting and sketching.  Her choice to marry and set aside her creative talents ended a life both well-adjusted and tranquil.  For most of her married life she was a victim, easy prey for another victim, an alcoholic husband.  She bore six children, lost others early in pregnancy, and worked odd jobs to help out during times of extremes.  And there were many.

Mom was purely a giver, to the end of her days.  She was worn out from giving–of her time, her love, her means of living, and her patience.  I always resented her giving so much of herself… I thought she allowed folks to take advantage of her, which she did.  She lost her self-respect.   I have finally come to terms with that, as I realize now that she wanted to give, it was her choice to out give herself, which resulted in her giving out, physically and mentally.

For years I held it against her and looked upon her with disdain, as being of a weak spirit.   I know my conception of her affected my outlook on life and my relationships; I determined to never be weak like her. Never!  I would never allow myself to be beaten up, smashed around, and lied to, forsaken, treated like a dirt bag.  I carried that stigma for years, infecting relationships with tons of “never gonna be treated like Ma,” which needless to say,  self-destructed my marriages.   Anyway…

“Happy Birthday, Mom!  Miss you, as always.  Give Gramma a hug for me, say hi to Gramps.  I’m doing ok now; I guess it’s about time, huh?   Eh? Yeah, I’ve mellowed out some more.  I don’t scare off as many people now anyway.  Yes, Jesus is here to stay!  Praise the Lord!

How did you like that family reunion we had last month!  Woo hoo!  All your kids got together, first time in over 30 years.  We even recognized each other.  We acted like you weren’t there, but you were.  We knew you were smiling.  And you weren’t tired anymore—it was the happiest smile I ever saw you smile.   That’s what heaven does for a person.  Anyway, your children are fine and growing old like you did.  We’ll see you one of these days and take off these earthen mantles—and put on those heavenly robes.   

I love you, Ma.  You did your best.  Hugs.”

Amen.

The Shriveled Dandelion

 

Part 1

©Jeanne E Webster

“Mommy, look at what I got for you!” the energetic child exclaimed as she held out a mangled dandelion.

Limply folding laundry, the weary mother replied, “Oh, that’s nice, Nancy; what a pretty flower! Now go back outside and play with your brother.”

“Don’t forget to put it in water, Mommy!” Nancy shouted as she scampered back outside. Only five years old, she already babysat Johnny, her two-year-old brother.

“Ok, Nan,” Mommy half-heartedly promised, her mind drifting back to the household chores awaiting her. The prized dandelion silently dropped to the floor and shriveled into a skinny speck. Pensively she heard laughter coming from the back yard, and a hint of a smile appeared on her face. “At least the kids are happy and well,” she mused. With a hundred things to do, she poured another cup of coffee and continued her mundane activity.

Cries from Johnny a while later broke into Mrs. Armstrong’s labors. Pushing her head out of the upstairs bedroom window, she called out, “Nan, what’s wrong with Johnny?”

No answer. His cries became more desperate… something is wrong, terribly wrong.

Throwing the freshly washed linens on the bed, she hurried to the stairs, hollering again, “Nancy! What’s the matter with Johnny?!”

Again….no answer.  A full panic raging now, Mrs. Armstrong took the stairs two at a time, quickly reaching the doorway to the backyard.  Her eyes searched frantically for her children.

Johnny’s voice was at its highest pitch as she bent down and removed him from his swing seat. Comforting him with hugs, she quickly pivoted around in a frenzied search for her daughter.  Nancy’s gone! The gate to the fenced yard was closed and there was no sign of her on the premises.

Scanning the back yard as she rushed into the house, she dialed 911 to report her missing daughter. As she waited for the arrival of the police, her last conversation with Nancy played over and over in her head. Her heart broke as she realized she hadn’t really listened to her daughter… the treasured dandelion lay shriveled up on the kitchen floor. She had never put it into water.

Bracing herself for the ordeal facing her, she made a vow to tell Nancy when the police found her that she was sorry for breaking her promise. “Next time I’ll listen, Nan. Promise.”

[Written months ago–before little Breeann]