Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Missing my Mom on Mother's Day

Patricia McLaughlin wrote in her column in the Tribune today, "Mothers can be so annoying....until you don't have one."  She wrote about the quirkiness of mothers - "one day you're a 9-pound handful that can't do anything but eat, sleep, cry, soil its diapers and spit up all over its clean onsie.  And minutes later, or so it may seem to your mother, you're a grown-up with a house, career and family of your own and all sorts of cockeyed ideas about how things ought to be and done.  For years and years, it's your mother's job to worry about you:  homework, eating right, brushing your teeth, hanging out with the wrong crowd, etc  How can she stop just because you've grown up?"  When I was a little girl my mother told me what to wear, what to do in my leisure time (embroidery, not read), who to play with, how often to go to Confession.  She didn't know how to tell me about female things, just showed me a sanitary napkin and said "you'll have to wear these every month, once a month, for the rest of your life."  She wasn't the first to tell me to wear deodorant, nor how babies were made.  She was a great cook, but never showed me how to bake a pie.  She was stoic, not affectionate, but I did see her cry once in awhile.  She had a tenderness that came out in her actions, not words.  She showed her love by doing the things she did well - baking, sewing, quilting, cleaning!!  Oh my how I appreciated her work to help me clean my house in Clarkston, both Clarkston houses - the one on 7th Street and then in 2002, the one on Chestnut Street.  I was 40 years old and she spent 3 days helping clean my house during the day, then washing windows and weeding the flower beds in the evening.  
Mom, at Karen & John's Wedding, May, 1992

If you attended Mass today you listened to Jesus words in John's gospel, telling us to love one another as He has loved us.  It seems so appropriate to read that gospel today, on Mother's Day, because it surely was the prayer of my mother that we siblings love one another.  She, in her own way, laid down her life for us over and over again.  At some point she stopped telling me what to do, but I don't think she ever stopped worrying.  Patricia McLaughlin wrote about a conversation with her mother, "I worry about you because I love you, she'd say, when I'd complain that she didn't need to worry so much.  I think of all my telephone conversations with her when I knew she was worried about Carole's illness, or Joan's attempts to find a job, or Karen's financial struggles, or Connie and Garry's crops, or Marilyn walking the icy streets of Spokane delivering papers, or Maureen's fertility challenges, or Larry's babies not yet baptized, or yet another stressful assignment for Don.  I wonder if I told her not to worry so much or maybe she told me that she and Dad sent money to the missionaries so they would pray for all the things she worried about. Today I know I miss being worried about.

Thank you Mom for loving me and worrying about me!


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