My Mother and Me

A recent phone conversation between Mother and me…

“I dream about my childhood almost every night,” Mother said. “I miss my mother. In my dreams, I’m with her again. As a child, I thought everybody’s mother was wonderful like mine.”

“Goge (our name for my grandmother) went through some hard stuff, but I never heard her complain. Every single time we were together, she made me laugh. She never mentioned herself or her problems. She just loved on me.”

Goge and me--my 34th birthday

“Your grandmother wore a white eylet dress to my daddy’s funeral when I wasn’t quite two. She was 27. May 18, 1938. Back then, widows wore the traditional black dress. That white eyelet dress was Daddy’s favorite. Mother didn’t care what anybody thought.”

“Goge was ahead of her time.”

“She had Wednesday afternoons off from work. When it was pretty outside, your grandmother walked home from work and put on shorts like mine. My friends came over and Goge  walked with us to Sleepy Hollow–a lush green hide-away deep in the woods–amazingly cool on hot summer days. Clear, pure water to swim in. She packed peanut butter crackers and small bottled Cokes.”

“She really wanted to be with you, didn’t she?”

“More than anything.”

“Remember how she peeled an orange?” I said. “She’d sit beside me, laughing and talking the whole time, and take off every piece of skin. Even the yucky white stuff. Then she’d divide it into sections, and arrange it on a plate for me. So much love in everything she did.”

“And cutting a watermelon was like a festival. She’d laugh expectantly, so I did too. It made a marvelous cracking sound as she slicked it open on newspaper. Then she’d say, “Oh Mannie, we’ve got a good one. And she’d cut a chunk right out of the center for me.”

“She gave you all that mattered in life.”

“I wish I could do it all over again,” Mother said softly. “I’d be more like her.”

Comments

  1. Mime says:

    She really wanted to be with you, didn’t she?
    More than anything.

    She gave you all that really mattered in life.

    I wish I could do it all over again……..

    Thought provoking……..beautifully written ~

  2. Julie,

    This was simply beautiful and a mighty tug on my heart. I think we all yearn to be remembered in exactly this kind of way- for the unique things we said and did and all the things we especially did out of love and with love.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Vicky

    • Julie says:

      Thank you sweet Vicky. Maybe it’s all that matters–those seemingly little things we do out of love. Hugs to you today!

  3. Julie, I can hardly see the screen for the tears in my eyes as I type this. What a beautiful piece of writing.

    • Julie says:

      Carla, you won’t believe this, but last night I was washing dishes and wanted to email you about this blog. I thought it was something you’d understand. Guess the Lord did my emailing for me. Thank you my dear friend.

  4. I was crying after I read the title…goodness J, this is gorgeous.
    Goge left a beautiful legacy and no matter what MBWA thinks, she’s living a beautiful legacy. love u

    • Julie says:

      Thank you, Robin. I’m so blessed–so very blessed. Your love for your family prompted me to write this. xoxoxo

  5. Michele Gavaletz says:

    Love and miss my mother very much. We had the best relationship and she did with her mother. I have a beautiful granddaughter that I hope to build that same relationship with – so blessed! Thank you for sharing.

    • Julie says:

      Hey, Michele. So glad to read you had a good relationship with your mom. What a gift. Sounds like you’re building sweet memories with your precious granddaughter. Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

  6. Beautiful, the simpler times where the pace was slower, you can just feel it can’t you. What a great picture to sit and peal an orange with such care to give it away. What a sign of selfless love. Thanks for sharing this. May we cherish these most important moments and create more of them!
    Tom

    • Julie says:

      Oh, boy–the slower paced life. Hung out my sheets in the sun yesterday. Thanks!

  7. Both my grandmothers were special to me in their own ways. My maternal grandmother, was gentle and quiet. I remember that she would go along with us on Sunday rides and we would stop at Friendly’s for an ice-cream. She loved peppermint stick ice-cream and we would sit in the backseat smiling as we enjoyed our cones. No words needed to be spoken, it was just a special time being shared. I was blessed to have her in my life until I was 13. My paternal grandmother (Nonnie we called her) came from a harder life. She was only 4’9″ but she had plenty of spunk. Nonnie was very talented and was always creating something with a different craft. She taught me my love of yarn! And so, began my interest in crocheting and knitting. Nonnie lived to be 93 and was in my life for 41 years.

    Thank you Julie, for this post which brought back some endearing memories. A quote I like about grandmothers is this: “Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete.” ~Marcy DeMaree

    • Julie says:

      Beautiful, beautiful quote, Eileen. You totally get it. 🙂 Loved reading about your precious grandmothers. The little things we remember….

  8. Loved this, Jewels. It reminded me of my grandmother. I have photos with her when I was really little, but I don’t remember those times. I only remember seeing her once. She’d just had surgery for a brain tumor. Her head was completely swathed in bandages like a turban. I was 5 years old.

    To keep me quiet (I was ADHD eons before they first diagnosed it) my mother did something rare. In her distraught state, knowing her mother was dying, she bought me a bag of jellybeans. I sat quietly eating them (probably bounced off the walls later – I don’t remember that). Finally I got to go see my grandmother. She pulled me onto her lap and squeezed me until I thought I’d pop.

    I offered her a jellybean, but she told me she couldn’t eat them right now, but to save her the black ones. She knew I hated those, but I’d also been taught to eat what food my fingers touched. So she gave me a reason not to eat those dreaded black ones.

    For 2 or 3 years after she died, my mother kept that little dixie cup of black jellybeans on the windowsill. I didn’t understand about death and wouldn’t let my mom throw them out. And I think she felt a little of her mom in that tiny cup.

    Like yours, mine gave me love through rally knowing me.

    • Julie says:

      I loved reading this, Ane. Jellybeans…funny how such a simple thing triggers a powerful memory. Hugs to you, my friend!

  9. Bev says:

    I enjoyed reading this so much. So well spoken and so true. My Mother passed last year and I would give anything to have her back again…just to have her hold me in her arms and show me love in a way no one else ever could.

    • Julie says:

      I’m so very sorry, Bev. I’m praying for you today. Thank you for reading and commenting. My love to you.

  10. Precious tribute. Thank you for sharing it.

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