I want to take some time to share some information and thoughts about a very important person in my life, my mom. My mom was the 9th of 13 children born to a coal miner and a homemaker in a small town of about 2,000 in Southern Illinois. Mom grew up on the edge of town and lived a simple existence. Most of the food they ate was made from scratch. No store-bought bread for them. Grandma made homemade biscuits that would melt in your mouth. My mom moved to the Chicago area at the age of 20. She got a job at White Castle which is where she met my dad. She married my dad and continued to work until right before she had me.
Once I was born my mom became a homemaker. She volunteered at my grade school all the time. For the last few years I was in grade school, my mom was the school librarian. This allowed me to see her every day at school during breaks. After school and during the summer, I tended to be with my dad. He owned a lumber yard in town and I was his helper. Every night when we came home, mom always had dinner ready for us. My mom took care of the house in a way only she could. Everything was always clean and in the summer there was always flowers and a garden.
When my daughter was young and I went back to work, my mom watched my daughter. She loved taking her for walks in the stroller. Everyone knew my mom and her “precious angel” because they were always out and on the go. My mom enjoyed those days to the fullest. Her granddaughter is her pride and joy. It has been hard on my mom in some ways being so far away from her family. Growing up we saw them an average of two weeks out of the year. Since my dad died my mom has been spending more time with her siblings and their families.
After my husband died, I came to realize the true importance of family ties. I make a trip once a year to see what is left of mom’s family. I feel very close to them when I am there. I think I can relate to my southern roots in a way that I never realized before. They know there is nothing more important than family and that money and material things can’t hold a candle to family togetherness. I am so looking forward to going to them in June and get back to the basics of what life is really about. How hard you work or how much money you make all means nothing if you don’t have loved ones to balance you out and let you know what is truly important. Namely that family must come above all else. When times get tough, family is really all you can count on for true support.
My mom is early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. She is still capable of living alone and functioning, she just needs my help now. After all the years she took care of me and brought me up to be the person I am today, I feel the least I can do is help her out now when she needs it. I have taken over her finances and day-to-day management of her home and life. I am an accountant and this comes second nature to me. I also take care of her medical care and medicines. Mom gets confused and upset easily if she can’t understand something. I tell her not to worry that I have everything under control. My mom appreciates the help I give her so much. I look at it this way, Mom took care of me when I needed it and now it is my turn to repay her for raising a well-rounded independent woman. I believe most things in life will come full circle if given the chance.
This week I will be having foot surgery. After my surgery, my daughter will be coming home for a few days to take care of me. I raised her to the best of my ability and now she will be paying me back. This is just another example of mothering coming full circle. Any person who does not have kids might not understand this, but once you become a mother you are a mother for life. No matter how old your children get, they will always be your children and you will always be their mom. Spouses and friends might come and go in your life , but you can always count on your mom. The bond one shares with their mom can never be duplicated. You are a part of them after all…