Sunday, May 13, 2012

I miss you Mom!

After my last post about my mom, I decided that I would take the words my sister, aunt and I (I would include my brother but he didn't write anything down, he just spoke from his heart) wrote for my mom's funeral and post them as a blog too. But life happened and I just kept pushing it off. And now with it being Mother's Day and all, I figured its the best time to do it.

From Kari

The last time I spoke to my mom was on Tuesday January 10, two days before her death. I had a very silly notion that Ethan was going to be born on that date.

She called me in the evening and said "I know the day isn't over yet, but any signs of labor yet?" I reluctantly had to tell her no, he was staying put a little longer. She would start to joke that he was going to wait until Valentine’s Day.

 Well he didn’t, but he did stay put a while longer. He was two weeks late, born January 22.  That’s how mom was; she tried very hard to support us in everything, especially the small silly things.  

Mom was trying desperately to make a trip to Texas after Ethan was born. She was so worried that I was going through such a life changing experience with no family around.

 I tried to convince her that I was fine, with friends and Charles, but there was none of that. She was certain that I needed family and soon she had me convinced.

 I was very much looking forward to that trip; however, she would never have a chance to make it. I was hoping to bond with her, show her the great husband I had found and just have some quality time together.

We had not spent more than a couple hours together in years. It was definitely time to have some good family bonding time together.

It breaks my heart that at a young age of 26, I have now lost both parents. I thank God that even with those circumstances, He introduced into my life, years ago, someone that I have considered my dad for over a decade. But I am deeply hurt of all the things will be missed by her passing.  

Charles will never have met either of his in-laws and Ethan will never know his grandparents.

I think one of the things that saddens me the most is when I have the inevitable "first time mom" questions..... "When was my first step?" "what was my first word?" "when did I become potty trained?" and so many more questions that a daughter would normally turn to her mom about.  

I have no-one to turn to.

My mom and I grew our relationship so much during my pregnancy. She called me all the time to see how I was doing, especially the last month. She would tell me all the time how things were when she was pregnant with one of us.

She was so proud of Stephanie and Aaron and the job they were doing as parents, I was anxious to show her that she could be proud of me as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I knew my mom was proud of me, but I wanted to show her I could raise my boy right. That the goal I have to be a mother, was obtainable for me, I would do great and she would know as I know, that I was made to be a mother.

As I think about who my mom was, it has been hard on me to look at the situation with the rose colored glasses of grief. I have been looking at the situation as what it was, and not sugar coating it.

But yesterday Aaron said to me and Stephanie that he tried to look at who mom was as a mother and not her individual decisions. That got me thinking of “who mom was”.

Well the biggest thing I think she taught me was Integrity. Mom always said that the definition of integrity was “doing the right thing no matter who was watching”. That didn’t matter if you were getting paid for a job; doing chores, or just helping others out.

Integrity was in everything you did, and it showed who you are. My mom was a hard worker that was for sure. I know that there were times in our childhood where she worked 2 or 3 jobs just to keep a house over our head and food on the table.

It is common knowledge that my mom and I had a couple years where we did not have a relationship because of the characteristics my mother and I share; her stubbornness was definitely in there.

I did not agree with many of her life choices and it took me a long time to realize that those didn’t matter. What matters is she was my mother and we needed a relationship.

For a while I forced it, and "checked the box" and I made sure I called her at least once a week. Sometimes the only thing I could think of to talk about was books, but at least it was a start.  Over time I looked forward to these chats. Sometimes Stephanie and I would laugh at something silly she would say, and other times she was just a comfort, the way a mother should be.

The daughter moment I will forever find comfort in happened a day or two after she died I found myself thinking "I need to call mom and ask her that".

The relationship was finally there, and I will miss what could have been, but I know we were both headed in the right direction.
I love you mom.

From Stephanie

When I think about my mom I think of either music or gardens.  As children we always had to work in the garden weather we were being punished or earning the right to go and do something or just doing it to spend time with mom.  I always remember how happy mom was in the garden.  I think it is one of the only things she truly loved to do. And anyone who ever went to any house my mom lived in they know she squeezed as much garden in the little space she had, so therefore there was always more work then she could handle, and if you knew my mom she always said the reason she had kids was to help her with all the work around the house.  So if us kids got in trouble at all it was, do you want to spread dirt, weed the garden or plant more plants.  Consequently, we got the same options if we wanted to go over to a friend’s house or do any social activity.  I remember at Chuck’s house we had a HUGE garden, we had to number the garden beds to know which one we are being directed to. In the garden we had a swing with a sign that had the lyrics to mom’s favorite Kid Rock song on it.  Even though every house we lived in had a garden, every garden we had, had a butterfly garden, one that we would arrange rocks in the shape of a butterfly and then put plants that would attract butterflies in it.  It was my favorite part of the garden that is just because I am such a picky eater that I didn’t like any of the veggies we grew, which was my mom’s favorite part of the garden HER VEGGIES!!
Mom also loved music, one of the most annoying things she would always do was when a song would come on the radio she would always say, ROCK TRIVIA, in which she would want us to name the artist singing the song.  And don’t let the name fool you it wasn’t just rock music she would do this with, anything she thought we didn’t know the artist of.  She definitely insisted we have a love of music, which most of my memories of my mom I can link to one song or another.  Just like mom’s love of running out of gas.  Weather the car had a gas tank with a hole in it, or on pay day running out of gas on the way to the gas station.  I could not count the amount of times that we ran out of gas and had to walk to the gas station.  There is a song we would sing every time we would walk, Timmy and his cousin Kelly wrote it, it said “I could walk for miles, I could walk for days, I could walk for miles in the rain” and it is true we walked rain or shine because mom never had a cell phone till us kids had all moved out. And due to walking so much with my mom I now refuse to let my car get below a quarter of tank.  I never want to walk if I have a choice.  Which makes me laugh because Kari Rose HATES putting gas in her truck she would always say “my truck says I have 10 miles before empty do you think I can get to work and back before I get gas”   I remember the summer we built the house with Chuck, there were a couple CD’s we were addicted to, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, SheDaisy, and Jo Dee Massina.   That summer was one that I don’t think any of us kids will forget.  We lived in a tent that summer not because we didn’t have a house to live in but because we were always working on the house. 
Mom also loved anything outdoors.  We would go camping for every holiday it was warm enough to go camping and some that it wasn’t quite warm enough. I remember camping for Father’s Day every year because that is what dad would have wanted to do.   I feel we were always camping.  I remember when we lived in a house on the lake mom and I would have fishing tournaments, which probably weren’t very accurate because we would let the fish go as we caught them so who knows how many times we caught the same fish.  But I remember spending HOURS fishing with mom, a drink in one hand and our poles in the other.  There was many hours spent out on the docks fishing, drinking, just wasting time.  Even though my mom had a lot of struggles throughout her life she was still my mom and I will always love her. 
From Aunt Tammy (my mom's sister) 

It’s strange how I can remember my childhood
Yet can’t remember playing together
I can remember young adulthood
But we never hung together

I remember stories of how we stood
Side by side, for one another
We never let our sisterhood
Be trespassed on by another

As we went into mature adulthood
The sisterly bond became stronger
Unbreakable is our sisterhood
Even though you’re here no longer

I love and miss you so very much
I wish for one last touch
It hurts so very much
To know there will never be another touch
No matter what, I will always love and miss you mommy. I ache for you today. Happy Mother's Day. My first one as a mother, and without my mother.

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