Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Mother's Memories to Her Child: Childhood Treasures

Joyce

My favorite storybook(s)
All those by Jane Eyre; classics, and, as I got older, romance & history.

A game I never tired of playing
Jacks with Linda
Sorry with mom
Gin Rummy with family & friends

My favorite childhood rhyme
Not really a rhyme, but a song: It is French
"Whatever will be, will be." Mom sang it to me.

The best toy I ever owned
My dolls ~ a nun doll and a bride doll that my Grandma Eulah made the clothes for me. đŸ˜¢Lost these ~ move to Houston in 1973.

My most cherished item
A cross my Dad gave me when I was 16. Still have it.

Dawn

My favorite storybook(s)
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark; More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Classic English literature
Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
Nell's Quilt by Susan Terris
Anything by Ray Bradbury, but especially The Martian Chronicles

A game I never tired of playing
Cops & Robbers
Truth or Dare

My favorite childhood rhyme
A song called Que SerĂ¡ my mom sang to me. Here are the lyrics:

Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)

Doris Day

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, what will I be
Will I be pretty
Will I be rich
Here's what she said to me

Que serĂ¡, serĂ¡
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que serĂ¡, serĂ¡
What will be, will be

When I grew up and fell in love
I asked my sweetheart, what lies ahead
Will we have rainbows
Day after day
Here's what my sweetheart said

Que serĂ¡, serĂ¡
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que serĂ¡, serĂ¡
What will be, will be

Now I have children of my own
They ask their mother, what will I be
Will I be handsome
Will I be rich
I tell them tenderly

Que serĂ¡, serĂ¡
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que serĂ¡, serĂ¡
What will be, will be
Que serĂ¡, serĂ¡

The best toy I ever owned

My Puffalump, Cabbage Patch Kid, and musical doll from my Grandma EZ. She bought the musical doll before I was even born because she was determined I would be a girl.
A Barbie pool party set given to my sister and me at Christmas by my big brother when he got his first job.


My most cherished item
My Grandma's wedding ring. She gave it to me when I was 11 or so. My mom thought she was crazy. I wore that ring every day until I was 16. The diamond fell out when I accidentally hit the car door. It was actually not even a complete diamond as my Grandpa couldn't afford to buy her anything but shavings back in the Depression. My parents had it reset with a pearl, which is my birthstone.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

For my girls

Dear Maya and Lila,

 My sweet, sweet girls.  You are so precious to me.

Lila, you are 16 months old,  and you have just started walking.  Uncle Robert came to visit for three days, and on the second day you took two steps. On the third day, right before he left, you took four steps.  I don't think you even realized that you were doing it.  You were just looking ahead and it was clear that you were thinking about something, and you took four steps.

Maya, you are turning six on Sunday.  You only have one week left of kindergarten.  You have been identified as gifted this year,  as I knew you would be, however, your behavior is still that of a five-year-old.  You are doing math on a fifth grade level.  You read on a fourth grade level.  Yet, you cry at the slightest provocation. Sometimes I think you do this to get a reaction out of me;  sometimes, I think you do it because you really mean it.  The problem is, it's very hard to tell the difference.

You started kindergarten a whole week late because grandma died on the 18th of August unexpectedly.  That was and probably always will be the strangest day of my life, yet, I knew it was  exactly as it should have been.  In the time since she has died, you have mentioned her many times.  Most of the time, you mentioned her because of selfish reasons such as she will never send me packages again;  but sometimes you mention her for unselfish reasons like Lila will never know her.  You cry, and I try to console you, but, at the same time, I don't know how to because I feel exactly the same way.

 Your best friends have moved to Tennessee.  The boy you have known since you were 15 months old and have spent at least 2 to 3 times a week with for the past two years is gone from your life.

 You and I have experienced so much loss in the past nine months.  I will never know for whom it is more difficult, the child who is only five who has lost her greatest advocate and her greatest friend or the woman who is 36 and will never again physically see the woman who gave her life.

 My dearest, adorable, most wonderful Lila: You will never know for yourself what you have lost, but Maya and I will try to tell you. You will never know the joy of receiving a package from grandma in the mail, but Maya will tell you how important it made her feel. You will never know how exciting it was for grandma to visit because you knew she was bringing you a plethora of new books, but you will still reap the benefits because neither Maya nor I have ever let go of those books, and I see how much you love them on a daily basis.

 Though Maya no longer has need of baby books or infantile stories, she reads them to you every day, and she enjoys them  because you do. It never ceases to amaze me how excited she gets when you laugh, and she goes out of her way to make you laugh.  She is truly a wonderful big sister, and I hope that she will always remain a better big sister than I have ever been.

My sweet baby; you, more than anyone, has lost the most. You will never get to know the person who gave me life, who wanted me and desired me and brought me into this world.  Sadly, neither of you will ever know my grandmother, the woman who knew before I was ever born that I would be the baby girl that she had always wanted.  She wanted her daughter to have a little girl to love and cherish just as my mother wanted that for me.

 If my life can possibly be an example to either of my daughters, it will be that you will have many friends in your lives;  you will love many people,  and people will love you,  but no one will ever love you as much as your mother.  Once you realize this – how much a mother truly loves her child – I hope that it will not be too late, as it was for me.  I hope that you will find, before such a tragedy occurs that your mother should pass, a true and loving friend in your own flesh and blood; that of your sister whose life was brought about specifically for you by the person who loved you the most.

Monday, May 4, 2015

What does my grief look like?

Fire all consuming
with an emptiness -
The world is upside down
until the sinews of my life
break like threads in
a rusty needle.

I am the one inside the proverbial haystack.
No one is looking for me.
They are all lost in their own
piles of straw.

These waves of change
flood the plain of our existence
making it hard to breathe
consuming all the oxygen
until there is only
the tightness in my chest.

I can bang against my chest
but no amount of violence
will bring back
what has been

taken?

lost?

voluntarily resolved,
returned from whence she came.

An open letter to my mother

Dear Momma,

I miss you. I pray for you almost every night and think of you fondly every day. I really wish we had had more time together. I had hoped you'd get to see my girls grow up.

I am confident now that you are in a better place - a place where you can continue to grow and learn in a way I can barely fathom. I am truly happy for you. I thank you for the life you gave me, for the sacrifices you made for me. I hope I can do the same for my girls.

You know daddy, Robert, Jean, and I barely talk anymore. With the exception of dad, I have little knowledge of what goes on in my siblings' lives. You always told me what they were doing whether I wanted you to or not. You were always the one who kept your own siblings together.

I know you wanted the three of us to be closer. I'm not sure why it has not been possible. The closest the three of us EVER were was while you lay dying last August. It was as if we all had one mind when it came to you and very little else in common.

I hope you are spending time with your baby brother. I miss Uncle Ed, too. He was the coolest of the three of you. You were the strongest and John was the weakest. It seems strange he is the only one left, but Doris needs him. Perhaps he will grow stronger for her now.

I love you very much, and I truly hope we can be together again soon in a more perfect world.

Love,
Dawn


A poem for her

I told you all about
the dirty little secrets
I hid in my bones
kept buried deep in the recesses
of my being.

I dragged them out one by one
from the shadows and placed them
before you:
My shame, my fear, my failings.

You looked upon them, nodded,
brushed a thoughtful finger over the dust
wrapped them tenderly in your arms.

All the while you looked me in the eyes
Your smile never faltered
That knowing, lopsided smile.

You placed my dirty secrets in
the waste bin and said,
"All is forgiven."
Then,
"What do you plan to do now?"

All the years I trembled
fearing your reaction, your
disappointment in me.
How very foolish of me.
You who have known me inside and out
all my life
in whose body my soul first sought refuge
As if my silly flaws could
escape the notice of a loving
mother.

Because you taught me to never
go to bed angry;
to tell the truth no matter how painful;
to love unconditionally, and, that,
in the end,
family is all you have. 


Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Mother's Memories to Her Child: My Pets

"Your righteousness is like the great mountains;
Your judgments are a great deep;
O Lord, You preserve man and beast."
Psalm 36:6

Joyce
The first pet I ever owned
A little parakeet - can't remember the name but he sang a lot. He was very friendly and people oriented.

The pet I most loved
Jill, my Angora cat whom I loved dearly. The parakeet would sit on her.

Other family pets
John had a dog - a German Shepherd. We had several smallturtles and some baby chickens. We also had Blackball, a very sweet outdoor cat.

The pet I always wanted
At one time, a horse. Ed got one, and he was mean. They (Dad and Ed) had a hard time with the horse. He threw Ed and hurt him. He got rid of the horse.

My favorite book or movie about an animal
Black Beauty
Old Yeller

My best animal story
My mom telling me about her pet pig and her pet goat. She loved those pets a lot. She told me about the goat eating stuff it was not supposed to and her dad killing her pig for food. Also, her bunny rabbit.


Dawn
The first pet I ever owned
I had family pets, though I suppose I did not own them; my parents did. They were Sir John, a white cat, and Roxanne (Rocky), a Shelty. The first cat I owned was named Primo, but she died. I loved her so much and got her when she was a kitten. She sat in my lap while I watched TV. We kept her in the bathroom, and, one night, I went in to feed her and play with her, but she ran right under me as I was sitting down. I sat on her and broke her neck. It was truly awful. Then I got Emma who was from the same litter. She was a joint Mother's Day and my birthday gift from a friend.

The pet I most loved
Sir John. I cried unconsolably when he died. My parents told us on a Saturday morning when I was about to start watching my cartoons. They buried him in the backyard.

Other family pets
Bear - a mutt. He was a puppy when Rocky was an old lady. It was cute to see them play together, or, rather, for Bear to play with Rocky while she looked at him. 
A turtle my brother caught in the bayou nearby who was eventually eaten by Bear. 

The pet I always wanted
A fluffy lap cat. Preferably an Angora or Siamese.

My favorite book or movie about an animal
That Darn Cat!
Socks by Beverly Cleary

My best animal story
My mom told me Sir John used to lay on the headboard and swipe his paw at her hair, eat her ice cream, or purloin her popcorn.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Appearance of Grief

Fire all consuming
With an emptiness inside -
The world is upside down
Until the sinews of my life
Break like threads in
 A rusty needle.

I am the one inside the
Proverbial haystack -
No one is looking for me.
They are all lost in their own
Piles of straw.

These waves of change
Flood the plain of our existence
Making it hard to breathe
Consuming all the oxygen
Until there is only
The tightness in my chest
The bowling ball in my belly.

I can bang against my chest
But no amount of violence
Will bring back what has been

Taken?
Lost?
Voluntarily returned
From whence she came.

I shuffle off the chaff that
Threatens to drown me
Emerge into the field of my bovine brethren
Squint against the glare of the fire in the sky.

This is my reality -
New
Bizarre
And, oddly, beautiful.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Mother's Memories to Her Child: LIfe Back Then

"The child grew and became strong in spirit." Luke 1:80


Joyce

An ice cream cone cost
Very little; Dad paid so not sure - maybe 10 cents

My favorite ice cream flavor
Strawberry

Our family car(s)
Ford wagon
Impala
Can't really remember as I wasn't into cars.
John had a '65 Chevy

The fashions of the day included
Bobby socks; mini skirts; high heel shoes; backless or peek-a-boo tops and cropped pants called pedal pushers.

My favorite thing to wear
Pajamas as they were so very comfortable. For day times I liked my shorts; only allowed to wear dresses to school.

The popular things to do
I don't really know about popular as I didn't do that! I was more to myself and always "out of style." It didn't mean anything to me.
I liked to watch TV (we had only 1) and dance or be with my best friends. 
I also read a great deal.
I would go to the library.
I liked going to the beach and listening to the waves.


Dawn

An ice cream cone cost
A dollar or two I guess. I wasn't paying :) My mom would take us to get frozen yogurt as a treat sometimes. I would always be the last one eating. The cold hurt my teeth, but it sure tasted yummy.

My favorite ice cream flavor
Chocolate chip cookie dough or Oreo

Our family car(s)
My dad had a green Oldsmobile when I was little. Then we had a station wagon and, later, a big van that we would travel to and from Florida in. My first car I shared with my mom. It was a red Ford Probe. My brother had a 1979 Mustang, then a 1989 Mustang. When he got married, he was driving a 1999 Mustang.

The fashions of the day included
When I was little, kids were wearing Guess jeans. We couldn't afford them, so I never did. We had slap bracelets and Hammer pants. 

In the grunge days, black nail polish and flannel shirts with jeans.


When I hit high school, I switched to wearing clothes from the 50's, 60's, and 70's, so I really am not sure what everyone else was wearing. I loved wearing old fashions. My friends' moms would see me and say, "I used to have a dress like that." I wore my mom's old platform shoes, bell bottoms. I wore Metallica shirts with these hideous brown bell bottoms from the thrift store, Cure shirts with ankle length black and gold patterned skirts, Red Hot Chili Peppers shirts with maroon velvet bells. The more outlandish the pattern, the better. My favorite dresses were a green Chinese silk dress, a pink empire waist cocktail dress, and a mauve peasant dress with cream lace details on the bodice and sleeves.

In my late teens, early twenties, I wore some raver clothes. I had this amazing plastic, green glitter heart ring that I lost in the Mediterranean Sea when I visited France. I loved shopping for little boys' shirts at the thrift store.

My favorite thing to wear
My band t-shirts 

The popular things to do
I have no idea what other kids did. I think they went to the mall a lot before they got cars. I hated the mall. I went to movies and the skating rink when I was a pre-teen. As a teenager, we mostly hung out at each other's houses. Sometimes, we'd sneak out and go to parties where older kids were getting drunk and doing drugs. One time, we took a hike through a "forest" in the middle of the night with two guys who were wasted. With my girlfriends, we'd stay up all night getting "wedged" which meant not sleeping and getting crazy. We toilet papered people's houses, mostly boys we liked. We took midnight drives to Galveston just to watch the sun rise over the Gulf.