Dec 31, 2013

Questions for My Mom

Every day I think of something I want to ask my mom.  Every single day.  Sometimes the questions are specific to what I'm doing.  A lot of times they're totally random.  And for just a moment, I have a pang of regret that I didn't ask when I had the chance.  But then, usually, I force myself to think of something else and move on with my day.

I've decided to start writing some of my questions down.  I don't know why.  These aren't even memories of her...just things I wish I knew.  And frankly, I can probably get some of the answers from my dad or her siblings.  None-the-less, I wish I could ask HER.

Sometimes, if I do dwell on thoughts of my mom, I'll have a dream about her that night.  And then it's as if I get to spend a little more time with her.  It's hard to wake up from those dreams.

(Starting November 22, 2013)

  • What did your mom (Joann) do again?  She was a nurse or training to be a nurse?  Did she work after your mom and dad got married?
  • Can you come for Thanksgiving?
  • Can't you please just make the Peanut Butter Pies for me this year?
  • What did you do when I (the youngest) went to preschool?  What did you do with your time during the day?  How did your life change?
  • How did you, a night person, manage to get out of bed before all of us and make a hot breakfast every day?  
  • Did you buy/use red or white wheat for your whole wheat bread?
  • Where is your chicken noodle soup recipe?
  • How did you manage our household so well?  With the exception of the "Art Room" (alternately known as the junk room), it was always pretty darn clean, plus you cooked great healthy meals, plus you clipped coupons, plus you hardly ever yelled.  How did you do it?!?  Why can't I be more like you?!?!?!?
  • How did you handle the laundry?  (I remember she would occasionally "go on-strike" if we were throwing too many clean clothes in the hamper--and then we'd have to do our own laundry for a few weeks--but generally she took care of it all.  I do remember I had to fold the wash-cloths when I was very little.)
  • Where did you hide the Christmas presents???  (I never found them!)
  • How did you determine a Christmas budget for kid gifts?
  • What was the best Christmas gift you ever got?
  • What was your favorite Christmas?
  • How did you keep track of kid presents and who was getting what?  Did you worry about giving the kids equal numbers?  Did we count our gifts like my kids do?  (I do remember there were occasionally gifts that got lost and those I got for my birthday (in February) or if they were really lost, for Easter--like the brass doll cradle! :)
  • Why didn't you decorate for Christmas the last few years?!?
That's all I have written down, but I'm sure in the coming days and weeks, I'll have another long list.

This year I bought a small fake Christmas tree and decorated it with all the angel ornaments I own in honor of my Mom.  She collected angels and would have loved it.  (A lot of the ornaments were given to me by my sweet mother-in-law so it reminds me of her too and what an angel SHE is.)  

My favorite new ornament is from Gray's preschool teacher.  It's a photograph of him standing with his hands steepled.  He's cut out and pasted in between two giant foam wings covered in silver glitter with a gold pipe-cleaner halo on top.  The first thing I thought when I saw it was how much my mom would have loved it and that she probably would have stolen it to hang in her house.  

If she were still alive, I would have made an angel of every single one of her grandkids and forced her to get a tree to display all 25--all looking angelic with white foam wings.  (I sure wish she could have met my little angel #25!)  She used to joke when one of the grandkids was being naughty that their halo was slipping a little bit.  Gray's little pipe-cleaner is slipping a LOT.  That would have made her laugh. 

Anyway, the holidays have been hard, and New Year's Eve and Valentines Day wont be any better.  However, I'm grateful for all the happy memories I do have and that I got to have her for 35 years.  I'm grateful for the questions I do have answers to.  
Enough of that though--I promise my next post will be filled with cute pictures of Baby! 

Let me just end with this: if you have any questions for your parent(s), why don't you just go ahead and pick up the phone already!  You wont regret it.  :)  
Happy holidays!!!
Meeting Baby Gray when we visited from Japan

On her (second) wedding day

Meeting Baby Gabe

Swimming with Baby Max at her condo in Springville

Cape Cod with Gabey-Baby--When she visited us in Rhode Island

Grandma Fae LOVED giving babies a bath--Happy Baby Sammy


Shelle said...

Emily, my mom's name was JoAnn too, and I think the very same thing many days. My mother knew so much information about our town and about all my Dad's and her family, but we didn't ask either. I wish I would have sat quietly with a recorder or a book and written answers to the little questions. I have sat down since and talked to my father with a recorder. Now comes the important part, write the answers for yourself while you can tell your story. Love you. Shelle

Sherm said...

I discovered that I actually know and remember more than I think I do. I suspect you're the same. Every time you write a question write a memory. If you do it beginning as early as you can remember and move forward a memory will bring a memory will bring a memory. You likely will answer some of those questions about your mom and, at the same time, answer future questions for your boys.