Monthly Archives: May 2011

My Mom

When I was 4 years old, mom gave me her button box and a spool of heavy carpet thread. She carefully cut the carpet thread into pieces about 8-10 inches long. My task was to sort through the buttons and find all the buttons that were the same color and size and string them together on a string. She showed me how to tie the ends of the strings together. When I was done, her button box was organized and all the like buttons were separated on little circles of strings. After sorting the buttons, I asked mom to teach me to sew a button on a piece of fabric. She carefully threaded a needle for me and taught me how to sew on a button. Thus my love for sewing began! When I was 5 years old, mom taught me how to lay my baby doll on a newspaper to create a pattern. I began making clothes for my doll, embellishing those little garments with hand embroidered flowers and my doll’s name. I still have some of those early doll clothes. While visiting mom and dad in September 2010, she opened up her sewing closet and offered me her button box. I wanted the button basket, but didn’t want to take it from her. She insisted that she wouldn’t need it. In the button basket were some of the little strings of buttons that I had strung 60 years ago. I brought the buttons home and spent some time sorting through the many different shapes and colors, remembering the times I spent sitting on the floor so many years ago, playing with mom’s buttons.

Sadly, mom died on December 19, 2010, just 3 weeks after dad. She was just 2 months shy of her 90th birthday. I was glad that I was able to spend her last couple of weeks with her. Mom was my best friend, confidant, mentor, and now my guardian angel. She was a very special lady, honest, hardworking, and loyal. She taught my sisters and me to sew, knit, crochet, embroider, and cook. She was a strict disciplinarian, but loved us unconditionally. She made our young lives happy as we were growing up. She would tap dance and sing in the kitchen while fixing breakfast to make us laugh. When she studied Spanish, she would write our breakfast menu on the blackboard in Spanish and taught us little phrases and some Spanish songs. She read to us all the time and when I was in the 4th grade, she read the epic, Odyssey. I remember one summer day when we all took our shoes off and went for a long walk in the rain, splashing in puddles and playing with our umbrellas. She made a tent by throwing a blanket over the kitchen table and let us play with buckets of water on the kitchen floor under the tent in order to stay cool on hot summer days. Sometimes she would pack a picnic lunch and give us a blanket and let us go outside under the old cherry tree to eat. She made clay from a recipe and let us mix the color dye into the snow white clay to create wonderful colors of our choice. She let me climb the old cherry tree in our back yard, where I spent endless hours watching the birds above and life below – loving every minute I spent in that tree.

Mom and dad gave us dancing lessons, piano lessons, and sports lessons. They encouraged us and helped us succeed in anything we decided to try. When we were in scouts, mom was the scout leader and trained other leaders while dad was a member of the men’s committee at scout camp, helping to unload the luggage and set up the tents. Mom was always there for us and we knew we could count on her to be the room mother, PTA president, field trip chaperone, and taxi driver. She taught me about nutrition, etiquette, and fair play. Dad taught me how to use his tools and how to wire a lamp and quiz board.

Mom spent her last years caring for dad, knitting lap robes for the veterans, and knitting caps for underprivileged kids. Her goal for 2010 was to knit 100 caps for kids. When she died she was only 13 caps shy of her goal. Mom always cared about the other person more than she cared about herself. If she had something that someone admired or wanted, she gave it to them. Mom, like dad, also donated her body to Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

Mom had a keen sense of humor, loved poetry, and appreciated nature. I could always call and ask her advice on anything, knowing I would get the best possible answer. She could put a positive spin on any situation and always made me feel good about myself. She was very wise and super intelligent. She could always make me laugh. She loved her husband, 3 daughters, 3 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren and we all loved her. I shall always miss her – I’ve lost a giant of a friend