On this Mother’s Day, I lovingly dedicate that above William Wordsworth poem… present that video bouquet to my late Mom. After all, the daffodil had been her favorite spring flower. It has been a little more than 13 years since she passed away and while I am certain life eternal awaits us all… I believe I can still do one last thing to immortalize her life on Earth.
On this special day… I’d like to submit and commit my Mom’s Memoir to the realm better known as the World Wide Web.
Why? Because it has oft been said that nothing ever dies on the Internet… and in this context… I do love the sound of that sentiment.
The words that now follow are from the second half of the eulogy… which I had composed… which I had delivered at…
Mom’s Memorial Service… April 22, 2003 10 a.m.
To be with a loved one till the very end…
“makes us aware of the uniqueness of each individual in the vast sea of humanity. It makes us aware of our finiteness, our limited lifespan …in that brief time, most of us create and live a unique biography and weave ourselves into the fabric of human history.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
I’d like to now share my Mom’s unique biography… this is… this was her life.
Not many knew what her middle initial stood for… but Mom had kept her maiden name as part of her legal name generations before women’s liberation had made it commonplace.
Although I only knew her as a dedicated, stay at home Mom… she did spend several years teaching English and Literature in the public schools in Minnesota and briefly in our hometown. She then broadened the scope of her lesson plans to teach life’s lessons to my sister and me… when Dad and she felt raising a family was more important.
Mom was always there to cook our meals… pot roasts with browned potatoes, a Slovenian dish štrukle, breaded chicken and pancakes all being her specialties. She was an expert at canning corn on the cob, tomato sauce, as well as a jam… a unique, extremely tasty peach/pineapple conserve. She won numerous blue ribbons at the local fair, many a September.
But baking was where she really excelled… all those delectable breads, kuchens, poticas, chocolate cakes, apple pies, and Christmas doughnuts… some plain, others coated with sugar and cinnamon. I can still taste them… warm… literally melting in my mouth.
Mom also loved the outdoors… to be communing with God as she tended her mums, tulips, irises and daffodils. While others loathed them, she loved the dandelion… only cutting them down with her hoe after they went to seed. She and Dad kept our yard pesticide/herbicide free and nurtured the apple and pear trees they had planted as well as the five wild raspberry canes… that later proliferated into hundreds. They also raised tomatoes, green beans and leaf lettuce… that is… until rabbits moved in to harvest these crops first.
Before arthritic fingers limited her ability, Mom and Dad used to play a duet on our piano, a very spirited rendition of Five Foot Two, as well as her solo, Stardust, the latter with such emotion and passion there had to be a story she never revealed… perhaps of love lost… that so moved… so inspired her.
She despised TV, only really caring for Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire… gameshows she could play along with. Katherine Hepburn and Clark Gable were her favorite actors. She liked the slapstick humor of The Three Stooges and in the Home Alone films. The Big Band era of the thirties and forties provided her, her favorite music. But she did enjoy the early Beatles, as well.
Mom read the daily newspaper and was very upset with the injustices in our world. She was very opinionated and we had many lively discussions about current events. She also read the hundreds of books in her considerable home library… finishing, in her final weeks, Zlata’s Diary by Zlata Filipović.
Mom loved writing and kept a daily journal to chronicle her life’s experiences, never missing a day until she began ailing in her final months. She also recorded the daily weather statistics. She corresponded with her big sister, Justine… their exchanging letters two or three times per month for over forty years… up till just before Justine had preceded Mom in death.
Mom was an avid Scrabble and Cribbage player. She had been fortunate, one night, when Dad dealt to her the very rare, perfect twenty-nine hand. Aficionados of the game claim it to be a once in a lifetime event. Although I never had that luck when Mom and I played cards, she did deal me the next best… the twenty-eight hand… twice, over the years.
Well, twenty-nine hands are rare, as was the privilege of knowing my Mom. I’ve had much time over the last several days to sum up her nearly ninety years and the almost half a century that she was in my life. So I can now say this with certainty. The most important of life’s lessons my Sister and I ever received from our Mom, our mentor was… above all else… that love and caring is what really matters. Give and you will receive.
I now thank all of you @WordPress for attending today. I appreciate your indulging this (perhaps overly?) sentimental blogger. Be sure to remember your own Moms on this special day.