Mom - Three stories told at her memorial

These are the three stories I chose to tell about Mom at her memorial service years ago. I wanted people to remember her as a human being.

1. Mom let all the kids play kickball and hide 'n seek and football in her FRONT yard in a nice neighborhood that was ringed by ridiculously expensive homes and the Country Club. There was not a playground anywhere in the neighborhood. None of the other parents would let the kids play in their yards; our back yard was too tiny to play in; the large side yard had a huge tree in the way (and the neighbor lost it when the ball went in his bushes). So, nearly every night and some weekends for the five years we lived there, the kids all trooped over to our house after school, etc., and played until after dark (Homework was not given much back then). Don't know HOW she convinced my dad, but I should have taken lessons from her! The neighbors hated looking at that patch of dirt in the midst of manicured lawns, but I didn't see them stopping their kids from playing - at our yard's expense. Mom knew the importance of play. I think Dad did, too, really. (That was the mom, Mom.)

2. Mom took a golf club (all five feet of her stretched to get that other eighth of an inch) and walked out toward the back edge of our uncle's property in Charlotte, NC, to protect his maid while she hung out the wash to dry on the line. The woman was not going out there alone and my uncle and aunt were at work and I don't think Dad went that year. Just a day before we got there a woman had been raped and run into the woods that flanked his house on two sides (end of a dead end road) and also across the street. To this day I remember how terrified I was the entire time we were there, but I also recognized what it took for Mom to act that brave. She was not going to let someone hurt either of them. (That was the feisty and brave mom.)

3. When we were somewhere around seven or so -- and Dad was at work, Mom played football in the living room with my brother and I. Now, realize, that was long before the days of Nerf footballs, and they are hard enough. Just for a few minutes, but it was enough to make a lasting impression on me. The football flying through the air, laughter by all three of us, just going with the moment. It was a no-no in other families and it was not the norm in ours, but even at that age something must have clicked, because I still remember it -- and as an adult tried to remember not to let a moment pass that could have been special. (That was playful, live life Mom.)

I don't think I worded the last one quite that way at the memorial, I knew which three slices of life I wanted to share, but was winging the actual words.

And I definitely have not always and will not always succeed at recognizing moments that could have been special, but I've sure tried more than I might have.

If you missed my Tuesday Tumble and Thursday Thirteen -- and Unplanned Poetry (a sad one) -- on Mom, click on the links and catch up, if you like. Then you will have more pieces of the puzzle that makes up one human being, my Mom. Dad stories come in July.

UPDATE: Shelly at This Eclectic Life wrote a wonderful post on her Mom, it is funny and warm, and well worth reading! I laughed and I cried!


Chris said...

Marcia, these are wonderful anecdote about your mother and some wonderful memories for you. You honour her life well. Thank you for sharing good mother thoughts.

Marcia said...

Chris - thank you, I so appreciate that you thought her life was honored. That is important.

Andrew said...

Wonderful stories. I really enjoyed reading this. It brought back memories of my own dearly departed grandmother. I miss her deeply.

Anyways, just stopping in from the next blog button and wanted to say hello. Take care and hold your memories dear!

Andrew in Alabama
The 4th Avenue Blues

Matty said...

What a loving tribute to your Mom especially with tomorrow being Mother's Day. Through your writing I feel that I know her...bet we would have gotten along really great!
These stories bring back memories of our own mothers....the good times and bad.
I hope my sons and grandkids have warm memories of me when I leave this earth.

This Eclectic Life said...

Oh, my. Marcia the emotions you pull out of your readers! It's exhausting and wonderful. I have so enjoyed "meeting" your mom. You're going to send me over the edge when I "meet" your dad, aren't you....

As always, thank you for sharing your words. Your mother sounds like one really special person. I can see where you got it.

Marcia said...

Matty - I am sure you will be held in their hearts! Mom seemed to get along with most people. I'm excited I evoked memories for you, too!

Shelly - That was a sweet comment, thank you. Evoking emotions is my "job" in life, I think. I just can't imagine anyone going a day without feeling something.

Matty and Shelly, thank you for reading about my Mom (and commenting). It was something I really wanted to share.

Marcia said...

Andrew - I'm so glad you clicked on that button and I am glad I brought back memories for you, because that means your grandmother is very much in your heart, but I am sorry you lost her. Thank you for taking the time to comment.