Sunday, December 8, 2013

Who my mother really was

Thinking of my Mom today, her 84th birthday!

I can't remember how old I was...probably middle teen years…
but I nearly lived for my favorite TV show.
I can't remember why I would not be home to see it one day, or even what program it was!
But I remember asking my Mom if she would watch it for me and tell me about it when I got home. 
Remember, this was way before VCRs.

When I got home she handed me a few pages of NOTES. All about my show. 
He said, she said, they said. All the details. Keep in mind I was not an only child. 
I was child #2 of EIGHT.

Mom with Peggy, baby #5.

My favorite movie was Pollyanna. No dvds back then.
At best, we had to wait for the movie to come back to the theaters which was every 7 years,
at least that is how I remember. So there was this long playing record of dialogue from Pollyanna.
I think 30 minutes on each side. I loved it so much that I wanted my mom to come in my bedroom
and listen to it with me. She did. Sitting on the floor right by me.
No problem, or that is how she acted.

Mom between two of Dad's sisters, June and Leonie

Their wedding day. I think that church is still standing in downtown Fresno.

With four of her eight children.

Every 2 years Mom had a new baby until I was 13 
(except for that 4 year span from 1961 to 1965, and then she had twins).

 I would often come home from school to find Mom lying on the couch,
eating chocolate, and reading a magazine while babies and toys surrounded her.
I was born with a huge need (and I don't say this lightly) to TALK.
I came home and knew I could always give her a play by play of my day. And I did. Every day.
 How boring that must have been for her. To me, there was nothing more important or more exciting
than my little life. Never once, do I remember her saying to me, "I can't listen to you now.
Save it and tell me later."
HOW did she do this day after day year after year?? 

If there were a subtitle to her life after "Most devoted Mother" it would be,
"She didn't sweat the small stuff." This is actually where she lacked patience.
I remember when she was Primary President at our church and she once asked all the teachers
to make and bring some popcorn from home.  She had planned to have all the kids make popcorn balls.
One of the teachers insisted on going to Sears and buying their popcorn fresh
out of the big commercial maker that sat in the middle of the store.
This teacher wanted the "finest." My mom shook her head, and
rolled her eyes as she was mumbling about this on our way home that day.

Mom with granddaughter Lauren.

She liked:
The Waltons
Rocking babies
garage sales
Paper plates (although we rarely used them)
visiting the lonely and the depressed and the sick
Biographies and Autobiograghies
Father Knows Best
chocolate candy
Andy Griffith show
Walks after dinner
Old movies
Hand written letters and Christmas cards
checkered curtains
Hallmark commercials
chocolate milkshakes
Dad washing dishes every Sunday
kind hearted, well meaning people
widows and the homeless and the disabled
Mexican food
What have I forgotten?

I know I've put this excerpt from her journal on my blog before, but it's her message so here it is again….

Back: Chris, Heidi, Robin, John, Richard, Scott
Front: Me, Dad, Mom, Peggy

Mom and Dad surrounded by their 8 children in 2002.

Happy Birthday Mom!
Whatever you are doing in heaven today, we know it's good.


Karen Mortensen said...

What a beautiful post Jill. She was a remarkable woman.

Anonymous said...

This is such an endearing post !
Thank you for sharing. You definitely have your mother's eyes and expressions and most importantly, her heart. Are you able to add names to under the other photos; especially the last one, and indicate birth order?

McKenna Heasley said...

I loved getting to read this and learning more about your Mom. I wish I could have met her. I think we would have gotten along :)

Richard said...

You're much like her except you're a little better cook...what a wonderful woman she was and is!

Rebecca said...

wow your mom and I would have gotten along great, I love all those things on the list too!

Grandma Honey said...

Birth order? My Mom could say our names all quickly in the order we were born. "Richard, Jill, John, Robin, Peggy, Scott, Heidi, Chris"

It was sad in the very last months of her life when she could no longer do that. She would say a few names and then stop, looking so lost. But I don't think she ever forgot our faces.

Grandma Honey said...

RIchard….Just because you didn't like Talareni or Stuffed Peppers. Do you remember that little brown roll of bread she would give us that came in a can?

Anonymous said...

So did your mom comment on your blow by blow accounts of your school day, or did she just listen?

Grandma Honey said...

She wasn't a big talker at all Darlene. So, not many comments. Mostly just laughed in the right places, or showed expressive eyes, and said things like, "oh no" or "oh dear" or "that's terrible" and she would ask questions like, "So what did you do next?" Sometimes I'd get frustrated and wanted more input from her…I wanted her opinion more. As i got older I understood that she was just a quieter person. Mostly I remember her always being there for me, and listening. Two things lots of moms don't have time for.

Richard said...

Yes that brown bread that came out of a can, served hot with a pat of margarine that she served with canned pork and beans. Yummy! In fact, other than the occasional fried liver I liked everything she made. Especially her tacos and Mac and cheese. I also liked her homemade maple syrup she stirred over the stove that if it got too hot would crystallize. But for all that goodness, you're still the better cook. In fact, you're the best cook I know.

And mom was a fabulous listener. She could even get me to yammer on and I was less talkative than some.

Tyler Heasley said...

I loved reading this post. And it reminds of how grateful I feel that I got to know her while she was alive.

krheasley said...

I am always so amazed at what awesome pictures you have of your family, Jill!

This really was such a nice tribute. I love seeing the things you post about your mom. She seems like such a wonderful lady--which is where you get it, I'm sure.

grandmapeg said...

What a great tribute to your mom! I am thankful that I got to meet her a couple of times, and you are certainly like her in so many ways. As a side note, I think my daughter Becky must really be the daughter you never gave birth to because she would come home every day from school and talk my ear off :-)

Anonymous said...

This was such a beautiful post to a remarkable woman that really does capture who she was! I loved the stories about her taking notes of your favorite TV show! Sounds exactly like something she would do! I sometimes forget about what a great listener she was. She would listen to all of her children for hours on end and the neighborhood children as well!( for sometimes longer) Some of her other favorites I thought of:
blue and yellow (favorite colors)
fiddle faddles
hot baths
pinwheel cookies-
wooden spoons (always on her christmas list)
binders - house was full of them
bird feeders
trident gum
the poverello house
service of all types
inspirational quotes from prophets
Far West Books
Sunday walks
her husband and children!(home and family)

Happy Birthday Mom!


Lisa said...

I could feel your Mom smile & lol at your closing remarks! I wish I could've met her but then I think I have thru you! The way you described her in this post sounds just like YOU! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful memoir! xoxo

Sue said...

She sounds like a wonderful woman, and this post really does her justice.

You know what? I have a feeling you have grown to be very much like her.