Behind My Red Door

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Mother's Heart - Tribute to Mom

"A mother holds her children's hands for a moment, but their hearts forever". That is one of my favorite quotes. And I think it could be said in reverse too - don't you? I know I will hold my mom in my heart forever. That's her above on the right - the pretty one - in the summer of 1981 with her mom, my Nany, Jen when she was just a baby, and me - I am the one with the huge shades. (what's with those?) Jen rightfully calls her mamma, "the most beautiful woman in the world". That's her below- just this past Saturday at the reception. Isn't she just as beautiful as she was in 1981? Jen and I sure think so!!

I am one of the really lucky ones in this world. I have such an awesome mom! She is one of my best friends and I would NOT be the strong confident woman I am if it weren't for her. Actually I have to tell you right off the bat that I wouldn't be the wife and mom I am if it weren't for her. In 1972, when I was a junior in high school, she fixed me up with this really cute guy that worked at the drugstore where she was a bookkeeper. He worked there after classes at a local college and she thought he was a sweetheart. And as usual MOM KNOWS BEST. That cute guy and I will celebrate our 33rd anniversary next month. And she never lets me forget it - but that's OK.

I hardly know where to begin telling you all the wonderful, clever, talented, creative things my mom did as the four of us were growing up. I guess I can start right at the beginning because hanging in my bedroom is the Christening gown, little jacket and slip she made for me when I was baptized. The slip is cotton, and the dress and little jacket are eyelet lace with the teeniest buttons, snaps and bows. When I took them out to display them a few months ago, there were little felt baby shoes she hand sewed for us when we were babies. She made our Easter dresses, our winter coats with matching hand muffs, our back to school clothes and even learned how to make her own lined pinch pleat draperies and slipcovers for the furniture. When the six of us traveled cross country in a station wagon pulling a pop up tent trailer that we opend each night and closed each morning for six weeks - YES SIX WEEKS - my mom and sister and I had matching clothes. She was a saint to take four kids on a trip like that but she also made clothes for the trip! One fall, every evening after we were all in bed, she sewed dozens of Barbie and Ken doll outfits and all the little accessories that went with them as well. Have you ever seen how teeny those arm holes are? That was a very special Christmas surprise for me I tell you. Well every Christmas was special in our house with her handmade decorations and Christmas stockings.

Along with the Christening dress, also in my home are three oil paintings she did. One still life and portraits of each our kids when they were young. And several family members are the lucky recipients of the quilts she made - including the one she made for Jay's crib and Jen's bed.

When there was a bake sale at school, no plain old brownies for my mom -noooooo way! She baked whoopie pies - dozens and dozens of the best ones you have ever tasted. At Christmas time she made cookies that were works of art and so many different ones. In the summer she would make pickles and relishes and jams and jellies from the fruits and veggies in season or the ones she grew in her own backyard. I remember eating watermelon so she could pickle the rind. My mouth is watering now thinking of them. When we had lamb, we had homemade mint jelly to go with it - are you getting the idea? I cannot think of anything my mom couldn't and didn't do. She actually went to Girl's Trade School at night and learned just about every trade they offered. I think they finally said "Beverly, we have nothing left to teach you".

Of course she helped with Girl Scouts and was a Den Mother for Cub Scouts too. She always made every occasion or holiday special for our family. She made panoramic sugar eggs with little scenes inside for Easter and she blew the inside out of eggs and decorated the delicate shells and we had an Easter Tree. Of course there were never any store bought Halloween costumes in our house. We all had unique hand made ones. And every birthday, our cakes could have graced the cover of Woman's Day or Good Housekeeping. We had dolls and trains and rockets ship cakes. And Easter meant a Bunny Cake and there was a flag one on the FOurth of July with fresh berries. She did that before it was in style. And I can't forget her trademark meat stuffing for the turkey at Thanksgiving and the special Lithuanian dish we have only at Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving called Potato Kugelis. Yummo!

And she didn't stop when we grew up. She made my wedding dress, her Mother of the Bride dress, the flower girl's dress and decorated all the garden hats we wore. She would have made the cake too if someone didn't stop her! My first Christmas as a married woman, I got ornaments made from some of the leftover wedding dress lace. They still hold a place of honor on my tree every year.

When my kids were born, she started doing fun things for and with them. For a time, she and my dad lived on Cape Cod and every holiday - not just Christmas, but Easter, Halloween, you name it, she would makes cassette tapes for the kids and mail them to us. She would read the holiday stories from the magazines she bought, and she play songs on the piano and sing to the kids on the tape. We still have those tapes. Yes, she also plays the piano - very well. She plays every day still and her voice is as sweet and strong as ever. She painted designs on T-shirts and sneakers for the fourth of July and gave them their own sugar eggs as well. I know, I know, you are saying SHE IS MAKING THIS UP - no one could do all those things and be that creative and talented and I have to tell you it is the truth and I have witnesses!

When the kids got old enough, she would do crafts with them and cook with them and she would take Jason to the movies I didn't want to see and she would paint Jen's nails and toes and do her hair fancy and make jewelry with her. They would get to stay at Mamma's on the Cape for a treat, and she took them to the Herring Run and the Cape Cod Potato Chip factory and every other fun thing she could find. When they were older, she would drive back here for Jen's dance recitals and Jay's football games and their proms. That''s just the kind of Mamma she is. My kids adore her (and Bampa too.)

Well I could go on and on, but I think you have a good picture of the mom I have. Pretty special huh? Yup she sure is. As I said, I am one of the lucky ones in this world. I got to be her daughter. Happy Mother's Day Mom! You mean the world to me and David and the kids. We all love you very much. We are the lucky ones...

Until next time - hugs, Linda