Sunday, May 10, 2009

I went looking for my mother yesterday

Maybe it's all those Mother's Day cards in the stores right now.

Maybe it's because all 4 of my sons have had big life events happen to them in the past 3 weeks. Makes me want her here all the more.

No, I didn't go to the cemetery. I rarely go there as I know she is not in that body, she's not under the ground. I feel empty there.

When I want to feel my mother's spirit, I read her journals, and talks she has saved that she gave at church years ago. Then it all comes back to me...who she was, what she wanted us to know.

Sorry for the interruption, but here's Mom in 1955 visiting Disneyland with my Dad the year it opened. She told me many times when I was older that she experienced "kid separation depression" since she left my brother (age 3) and me (age 16 months) with her parents. She would tell me later, "It is just not natural for a Mom to be separated from her baby."


I came across a talk she had written in 1966 about being a mother. This little excerpt shows her honesty. She never for one moment pretended to have all the answers.I also found some quotes that she repeats over and over again, in both her talks and her journals. So she obviously feels strongly about them. She obviously wants us to think about them. Here's a few:

"No other success can compensate for failure in the home."

"The most important work I will ever do will be within the walls of my own home."

She wrote that this should be a motto for every Mom:
"Out of small things proceedeth that which is great." She said this describes mothering perfectly.

She wrote that the following things seem unimportant perhaps on an everyday level, but are very important. Here's her list:
teaching
listening

guiding
cooking

rocking

reading

being there


She said the above list is evident when kids don't have it.

And she ended this talk with:
"I wish I could say to every mother everywhere,
'Make your mark on the world in the HEARTS of your children.'
You will be eternally blessed if you do."

I know she made a very deep and forever lasting mark on my heart. I know my 7 siblings would agree.


I want to wish all my girls, "Happy Mother's Day!"
Aren't they beautiful?

13 comments:

Mary said...

It really is a great blessing to be raised by a mom who truly loves motherhood, isn't it? I hope I am sharing that gift with my own children.

Eileen said...

This was beautiful! And if you don't mind I'm going to copy it.
Your mother's thought process was profound!
I love this, and it's wonderful advice for every parent.
This was a beautiful way to honor your mother, showing us all what an honor her life was.

And I can see from reading your blog that the apple did not fall too far from the tree.

Have a wonderful Mother's Day! Thanks so much for sharing!

Dennis said...

Your mother was a kind and wonderful woman. I miss her, too.

-Den

Grandmotherfairy said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mom Jill. I wish I had known her...

Tom and Karen Mortensen said...

I love all of these pictures. I love the selection from her talk. So funny. Was that Richard who said that by chance?

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

I have vivid memories of those charts posted in the kitchen. Your mother was always sure to include Leonie and I when we were up visiting. I had never, however, heard the story of the chicken. What a riot. I miss your mother too. I hope you have a very blessed Mother's Day!

Richard said...

As I recall the event, I began to bury the chicken but John thought it better not to further disturb any possible evidence. I was simply taking my lawyers advice and, he pointed out to me, the chore was not on the chart.

Blessings each day said...

What a lovely tribute to your mother. I miss my mother so much and wish I had journals or talks, but I do have cards she sent and a few letters and some recipes that I treasure, in her handwriting.

Also, I got carried away in your blog and just kept on enjoying myself and read all the way down to the last entry! You have a lovely family.

blessings on you and yours,

marcy

grandmapeg said...

What a lovely tribute to your mom on this day. As said above, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, with you. What a nice picture of your mom at Disneyland. The picture of your girls is great. They all are beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Being raised with chicken is news to me! I also don't remember any chore charts. But everything else you wrote is definitely the mom I remember. That is such a great idea about reading her old journals and letters to feel closer to her. I know I have tons of letters she wrote me so faithfully over the years I should definitely revisit. She was the most patient, loving, "always there" mom for everyone including the neighbors, as well as no nonsense practical. We were blessed tremendously blessed by her and even blessed in the end when she alzheimers in losing her slowly instead of all at once. I think that was a blessing. And she was certainly blessed to have you to care for her during her last days! And congratulations on all the major life events of your sons in 3 weeks!
love, Heidi

Jill said...

I agree with you Heidi...in a strange sort of round about way, it was a blessing to lose her slowly rather than suddenly.

Richard said...

Heidi probably doesn't remember the chickens because none survived to adulthood. As for the chore chart, I believe John got that thing declared unconstitutional. It was part of a broader compromise he struck that allowed mom to continue serving liver and tallerini for dinner once a week.

Kris said...

Wow...these are such amazing things to remember about your mom. I love what she said about the charts and the quotes were beautiful. What a nice way to honor her at this time of year.

And thank you for the Mother's Day wishes! We wish you all the best as well! We love being considered "your girls!" :)