I think of my mother at some point most days. There are three days a year that I especially think of her; May 1, the day she was born in 1917, Mother’s Day, February 21, the day she died 30 years ago.
She was a complicated woman. A bit of a snob, easily hurt and never forgot the hurt, angry a lot of the time and her anger was not a pretty thing, definitely something to be avoided. She was superstitious, and very funny. She didn’t know she was funny and would not think it a compliment to be told she was. But, in fact she was truly funny.
She had quirky little superstitious habits that were taken very seriously and silly sayings that were meant as words of wisdom.
She would complain that the doctor gave her the wrong prescription for glasses, then unknowingly wear my brother’s glasses all day.
One time she had a Perry Como record on the stereo and was happily dusting while listening to it. The stereo was on the wrong speed and Perry sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks. She never realized this and was quite surprised when it was pointed out.
She occasionally used deodorant as hairspray and never was the wiser. We knew because her hair smelled liked Daddy’s Right Guard.
For all her strange ways and faults and funniness one thing about my mother that I will always remember and be grateful for is her unconditional love for my brothers and me. There is no doubt she loved us. Nobody would get away with messing with her kids if she had anything to say about it.
I always knew that no matter what I did, no matter how ugly or bad, she would still love me and stand by me. Oh, when I did wrong I had to pay the consequences, but I knew she would be there with me, she would never abandon me. She taught me what unconditional love is like in this world.
On her birthday I buy flowers. Just a small bouquet that I put on my table. They make me smile and would make her happy if she saw them. On Mother’s Day no flowers, just thoughts of her. And on this day, the anniversary of her death, I just miss her.