|Pill, Chris, and Lori - Mom's birthday 10-07-1970|
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #22 - Memorial Service pt. 8 - More Intensity
I know I share things with you that you know or you remember, but the readers do not know and cannot remember.
Dad's nickname for you is "Pill." You had so adopted it for yourself that you labeled yourself in this picture as "Pill with Chris and Lori - Birthday (yours obviously) - 10/07/1970." In this photo, Lori has just turned one year old two months previously. I am eight years old, over halfway to being nine.
I did not add "Pill" to the discussions of your nicknames because in later years, Dad stopped using it. You were not a Pill in quite the same way after the meningitis. But this picture was taken long before that tragedy. This is your 34th birthday.
You look so happy.
This picture tells me a great deal about you and our life, our home, our family. There's your tea on the table and the nearby teapot. There's the orange table cloth that we still have. The careful place settings. Birthday napkins. I can see the iron on the kitchen counter in the background and the old ceramic cookie jar, in which we never put cookies. We had only lived in this house on Hazelwood for a little over a year. Update on curtains 1507.28: You loved those yellow curtains didn't you Mom? You made them out of burlap. And though you loved them, you left them with the Hazelwood house when we moved. (Original text: I wonder if you liked those curtains. I found pictures that show me that they were still hanging there two years later, so maybe you did like them. I should ask Dad about this.)
Part of today's bit from my talk is about your standards. There are other things in the text, too, but this is the focus I want to keep right here. You are always so explicit about certain standards being maintained for how things are done, for what is done, for what is prioritized. Dad had mentioned not setting up the Christmas tree this year. I feel you right here next to me, Mom. I can feel your disapproval. It is palpable. It is real and physical.
I promise. Certain standards will be maintained. Just the way you want it.
This is the next bit from the Memorial Service, last detailed HERE with the Mints Story on pt.7:
Really, she had been Ms. Intensity long before I gave her the nickname. For years, she cleaned our home all on her own. In later years, after we moved to West Gull Lake Drive, the home was bigger, and my father made more money, so she would hire someone to clean. Not only did she clean along with the person, (not to supervise but to chat) but she often cleaned before the cleaning person arrived. She was both intense and frantic about the annual Christmas party for my father’s firm that took place annually at our house. The house was never perfect enough for these events. And yet one of my college friends referred to our house as the dustless, dirtless house, and she didn’t even see it in its pre-party immaculate state.
My mother was intense about her health. She had many doctors monitoring her health, even before the meningitis. In later years, her doctor told her to walk every day when she recovered from breaking her back in the mid-1990s. I took many of these walks with her as I worked at home and also needed exercise, but I had to keep up. She set a brisk pace, and we had a specific route that we adhered to religiously, walking all the streets in the same order all the time.
And so it was with my mother. Everything just so, very particular, fussy, intense. And yet thoughtful. She put this intensity into the thoughtful ways that she showed her love for us. Her guiding principle was the Golden Rule. She tried to live up to it. She did not always succeed as it’s difficult to ALWAYS treat others as you have them treat you. This is one of her greatest gifts to me as I try to do the same and fail just as often.
My sister has done a good job of detailing many of the things that shaped my mother’s identity, such as her role as our mother, baking, holidays, and cats. I could recount so many examples of the thoughtful gifts that she assembled throughout our lives, not just our childhoods. Even after the meningitis, she insisted that certain standards were maintained, and she’s going to watch my father to ensure he continues these traditions. She knew our favorite foods. She even learned favorites for friends or girlfriends of mine when she made dinners for them. In my adult years, I would often come home to find a plate of that evening’s dinner, perfectly arranged, covered with saran wrap in the refrigerator. My mother was the most generous and most selfless person I have ever known.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.
- Days ago = 23 days ago
- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1507.27 - 7:51