My Mother's Day post from last year is here.
When my brothers and I were in elementary school, our mother would send Valentine's Day cards to us at school. I remember this at least twice. We'd get called to the principal's office. Remember the principal's office? I'd be all freaked out only to find out I had some mail. I was in elementary school. I never got mail. And to get mail at school? Amazingly cool.
When I was in high school and needed a Social Security card for a real job (non-babysitting), my mother got me out of school for a few hours. We went to the SS office and got me signed up. Then we went to the top of the Woodmen Tower, which was then the only skyscraper in town, for lunch and had steak sandwiches and strawberry daiquiris.
Prom night. My girlfriends and our dates meet at my house for pictures before we go. Mom walks into the room and says, "Who's got the joint?" So the boys smoke a little with my mother before prom.
Once I was home from college on a break and my mother helped me get into a club by telling the bouncer, "I'm her mother. Would I lie to get my underage daughter into a bar?" He let me in, but the answer was yes.
College graduation. Mom: "But why can't I wear a bustier and fingerless lace gloves to your graduation? If I lost weight, I'd look good. I would think most daughters would be proud of a mother who could look hip at their graduation." (This was during the Prince/Vanity 6 days understand, and evil child that I was I still demanded that she not show up dressed like Apollonia.)
I'm 26. I live in Colorado. She is in Kansas. We're talking on the phone long distance. She has a problem and asks me what she should do. I say, "I don't know Mother. What do you think you should do?" She says, "Stop talking to me like a fucking shrink!" I say, "Then stop treating me like a fucking shrink." She hangs up.
Two years later. She has cancer. It's spread to her brain and she can't see. I've brought her home from the hospital and settled her into her chair. The TV is on. She asks, "Who's in here in a blue outfit?" I say, a little freaked, "Um...nobody. Who do you see?" She dodges the question, so I ask what if anything she can see. She tells me, "I see things in my mind's eye. Planets, mountains, rivers." And I'm amazed and wonder who is this person. She goes on, "And clothes, furniture, jewelry." Ah, that's the mom I know and love. The woman, who after she dies, I have to go to the mall in Topeka to break the bad news to all the shop clerks. They mourn almost as much as I do. Almost.