Even when she was a little girl she loved mothering things. She was born in 1915 to parents who had lost other children before her. They weren’t youngsters when she was born. She ended up being their only child.
Her father died when she was six, and her own mother stopped working and took in boarders so that Mom wouldn’t have to come home to an empty house every day. For a time her maternal grandmother lived with them, and even her great-grandmother. She learned first-hand what it meant to be a mother from three generations.
She was a late-in-life mother as well. I was born when she was in her mid-thirties. She was a caregiver for her own mother by then. Mimi died just before I turned two and Mom turned all that care and concern on me. We became inseparable.
I wish I could say that I appreciated her as much as she deserved. I didn’t, not until I was well into adulthood. And of course now I miss her terribly. Especially today.
When my mom was asked about her life, she would always smile and say “I had a wonderful life!” I know that’s not wholly true; Mom had a lot of rough patches. But she remembered the good things, and that’s one of the things that made her so special.
I want to be like her. I want to be kind and generous and caring, and most of all I want to be the sort of person who comes to the end of her life and says “I had a wonderful life.” That’s the best tribute I can imagine.
I love you, Mom.