Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day--Spread Your Wings!

Another mother’s day is upon us. My mother Sally, passed away on October 20, 1992. She knew she was dying but never told me. My father was with her at the end. They were genuine partners.

My father never bought my mother a Mother's Day card. He would say, “You are not my mother.” He did, however, purchase a rose bush for me to give to her. Each year I can remember going to Franks Nursery and picking out a Jackson & Perkins rose for her. She had a green thumb when it came to flowers. Hers were the envy of the neighborhood.

I remember the Sundays when she cooked a huge pot roast. The holidays when (although our house was much smaller) she always had the entire family over. Her pies were legendary. She actually won a blue ribbon for her pies and jellies at the county fair. Much to the frustration of the southern born ladies.

I remember her love of animals. Especially our French poodle Pierre and our sheepdog Michael. She had a horrendous fear of cats.

She was an excellent seamstress. Her creations would rival those of any famous designer. I remember my father taking a second job as a cab driver to pay my school tuition. He would stop by the gigantic news stand in Downtown Detroit and bring home a Sunday New York Times. My mother and I would scan the Ladies pages to find the latest outfits by Givenchy, Pucci, Oscar de Larenta, and other designers. We would then go to the fabric store and find similar patterns and fabrics for her to remake into her own originals.

My mother was with me when I gave birth to my son. She was the very first person to hold him. When my daughter came along 3 years later, she could not wait to sew her darling little dresses and buy her dolls.

Sadly, what I remember most about my mother is her fear. She was afraid of almost everything. For all of her talents, she never spread her wings. She could have. In 1969 she had been gone from her job as head bookkeeper at the Sun Oil Company for 10 years. They were moving into new offices and her former boss called her and asked if she would like her old job back. She thought about the offer for all of 20 seconds, then turned it down. She thought about going back to school. She was sure she was too dumb. She considered writing. She thought she had nothing to say.

I vowed at a very early age to never hide my light under a bushel. I am certain some folks find me a bit too loud and somewhat crazy. Sometimes I am very afraid. I try not to let it stop me. When I look at my 2 children, both of whom put themselves through school, both have good jobs, and both are comfortable in their own skin. I know my mother would be so proud of them. I hope she would feel the same about me.

I miss you mom, I know somewhere in the universe you are spreading your wings.

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