Today is the fourth anniversary of my mother’s death, a time to think about an extraordinary woman and her gifts to me.
This fall, I have been wrapping myself in my mother’s long beige wool coat. It was her signature, really, the elegant, timeless look that she always favored. When she died, I just couldn’t give it up. I tried it on. It was a little short in the sleeves, but fine otherwise. A pair of gloves would take care of the shortfall, and I could bask in my mother’s warmth.
I am so lucky to have had a mother who:
· was 35 when I was born. Her age allowed her to think outside the parenting box, to my great advantage;
· had a fifteen-year career as an X-ray technician: careers for her daughters were non-negotiable;
· monitored my language (see last blog post);
· insisted on doing things correctly, whether it was vacuuming, or turning the knife blade toward the plate when setting the table, or always using a bread and butter plate, or putting in a zipper;
· was creative—she could draw, make decorations with paper, create a Japanese wig with coarse wool and the balls from roll-on deodorant, as well as a luau pig from chicken wire covered with cloth and colored with pastels by coal-oil lamp during a spring storm power outage;
· insisted that, “from those to whom much has been given, much will be expected” (Luke 12 :48);
· always celebrated birthdays and anniversaries with a special meal and a homemade cake;
· used the good china for the family;
· never, ever, gave in to physical challenges she faced throughout her life;
· was indomitable;
· had a real, practical sense of God;
· had an innate sense of style, and could wear a hat with unmatched flair;
· told stories while we watched her sew;
· could do anything with fabric—sew wedding dresses, graduation dresses, coats, suits, quilts for her grandchildren, dance skirts.
· lived her life for others;
· loved with every fibre of her being.
All I can say is, “Thank you.”