My mother was gone in what seemed like an instant. I kept talking to her as if our little corner of the world was normal…even thought she was in intensive care. One day…when she was still very alert, I excitedly told her about a new outfit that I had bought for our two year old daughter. I had found a resale children’s store just a few blocks away from the hospital.
She smiled as I chattered about the store. She quietly said…”Oh my! I wish that I could go shopping again with you and Kathleen! We’d have so much fun!”…my mother liked to shop as much as me. The art of finding a good sale…the art of the conquest…the art of looking for that special something. I suppose that I learned the art of shopping from my mother. Besides, we enjoyed spending time together. I assured her on that early March day in her hospital room that we would soon be out in the stores again.
That shopping trip would never happen. I lost my mother two days later in March, 1985. I was shocked. How could this happen? I considered her to be still young. She was barely older than I am today. That makes me remember that there are still projects that I certainly need to complete…some accomplishments that I would like to achieve… maybe travel to lots of new places…at least, I would like to feel organized. Ha! Good luck on that last one!!
I wonder if my mother ever felt like she was not as organized as she once was…if so, why did she feel this way? I have so many other questions that I would like to ask my mother. I have felt this very strong need for answers to my questions for years. I’ve never written about it before. I wonder why…
Maybe the mere thought that she was gone was just too sad for me. Maybe I just needed to get on with my life as a wife and as a mother to two young children. Maybe I had not had enough life experiences to realize what the truly important questions would be. I just knew that my Mom and Dad were at the core of my life. Little did I know that I would lose my dad exactly six weeks later…probably a broken heart.
Questions for my mom…questions for my dad in another post…
1. Did my mom remember vividly the years that her own mother was ill? Who took care of my mother, her sister, her brother during this time?
2. Who all lived in her family’s big blue house on Park Avenue in Nashville, TN? I think that there were many generations.
My family’s blue house in Nashville, TN…how many generations lived here?
3. Where she did her family live after her mother died? The same house?
5. When did Grandad start going out with Katie? Where were they married? Were you in the wedding? Katie was my much loved grandmother who was really a step-grandmother. She had no children of her own, but took on three children to raise. I considered her to be wonderful! Did my mother feel the same way?
6. Who were my relatives who lived in the pretty rock house in Antioch…not too far outside Nashville? We visited them quite a lot, but now I do not know how they fit into the family. I really loved that house!
7. Why did my Uncle Roy get to go to a well respected college in Virginia? Why did my mother and her sister not go to college? Was it simply not something that happened very much in that time period?
8. Did my mother ever seriously think about going to college after her high school graduation? She talked about Belmont College in Nashville being a good school. Is that where she wanted to go to college? When I was in elementary and middle school, she often talked about going to nursing school. Why didn’t she go? Was it because my brother (ten years older than me) was already going to UT in Austin? Was it because I would go to college someday and additional college tuition for her would be expensive?
9. My mother came to Texas to visit her aunt and uncle after she graduated from high school. They had moved to Texas because of the oil boom. Did she intend to stay more than a few weeks? She met my dad in Texas! How did they meet? How soon did she know that he was “the one”? Did she want him to move to Nashville so that she could live in her hometown? I always thought that she missed Nashville so very much. Did they talk about her strong ties to Nashville? What was their wedding like? I have a few pictures and she was a very beautiful bride with a handsome husband. They were always happy…but everyone argues sometimes! Also…what about the singing career that she had dreamed about? What about the times that she sang on the radio in Nashville? Was she happy just singing at weddings and in church after she lived in Texas?
My mom was asked to sing on the radio…country music, of course!
10. When my dad joined the Navy after WW II began, my brother was a barely a toddler. Daddy was gone for two years. My mother lived with my dad’s parents… my MeMa and PePa. Her sister-in-laws also lived with them since their husbands were also in the service. What was this moment in time like? I can’t imagine the fear and the tears in addition to the responsibility for a baby. I’ve read my dad’s letters from the South Pacific. His love for his young wife was so very tangible!
That’s just the start of my questions. There are so many things that I would like to know…so many things that I would like to understand.
If you still have your mother…tell her you love her, hug her a little tighter and take the time to talk! Life gets busy and you might forget those little questions that will have meaningful answers someday!
Seven of my parent’s great-grandchildren…before number eight was born!
And to my own mother…I love you from the bottom of my heart! You and Daddy have five grandchildren and eight precious great-grandchildren! Our daughter and son-in-law have a five month old son! Can you believe that Mike and I are now grandparents? Your new grandson has hair almost the same color as yours and a smile as bright as yours! I miss you every day and I try my best to live my life like you would expect! Thank you so much for everything, Mama!
Our new grandson and Nana (me)!!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY FROM TRICIA!