Monday, March 13, 2006


I know the last few blog entries have been a little solemn and, since today is the 3rd anniversary of my Mom passing away I thought this one would naturally be a little sad, too. But I changed my mind.

Pat Trotter was too wonderful a person to be summed up in a sad, tearful blog entry. She was funny. Boy, could she tell a joke and her stories always kept family and friends in stitches. She possessed a very dry, witty humor and she would often point out little everyday things and find something ironic and/or funny to share.

She was an artist. She could draw, paint, name it. Need a prom dress in 24 hours? No problem. How about a building-sized breakthrough banner for the football team? Coming right up! Whether murals in the hallway or a rainbow in our room, Mom always used her talents to make our home a bright and happy place to be.

She was a gifted writer. Funny poems, poetry for friends, and short stories about life--these have been an inspiration to me in my own work. Here is an excerpt from a poem she wrote about the BlueRidge mountains:

..."a million different shades of green moss-covered rock and kudzu vines, sun- dappled stone with yellow tones, and the dark gray green of ageless pines. Nights that are cool and days toasty warm. Explosions of fall color dazzle your eyes. Leaves falling down into cascading streams as my eyes are drawn upward to cloudless blue skies..."

She had such a gift and we are blessed to have a book that we found containing most of her writing. Sometimes, I just sit down and pick certain ones to read and it feels like she and I are having a conversation.

Favorite Mom memories include: her playing piano every Sunday morning as we finished getting ready for church, cutting up vegetables for her Thanksgiving dressing, her trying to sing the words to "Baby Got Back", the "box" of stuff she always had waiting on us every time we'd go visit--chock full of newspaper articles, recipes, funny emails (that we had seen a hundred times), harmonizing as she and I sang Amazing Grace and dozens of other favorite songs, teaching me how to sew, the sound of her cooking dinner while the Carol Burnett Show played in the background, the way she would tilt her head in the mirror if she thought her hair looked good, her love of Barry Manilow, John Denver and Neil Diamond and Danny Wright, cherry vanilla ice cream and lemon ice box pie, stacks of Readers Digests and her secret Skittles stash in her bedside table drawer.

I could write for a week straight and still not record all of the memories I have of my Mom. She was a surprisingly complex woman who devoted her life to her family and friends instead of focusing on herself.

So, I choose to celebrate her life today instead of focusing on her "losing" her battle to cancer. She did not lose. She fought bravely for eight months and, although she would disagree, she never lost an ounce of dignity in my eyes.

I am not sad today. I am lucky to have had such a wonderful, talented and caring Mom who poured her life into mine. For that, I am blessed.


bonnmott said...

May Pat Trotter look down from Heaven above and enjoy a good laugh courtesy of my sweet, funny Mother.

I read your blog and immediately called my 80-year old mother. She sounds a lot like your Mom. For a little sense of what she's like, she signs all her corresponsence to me,

Your One & Only,

She's sharp as a tack & full of Irish blarney. She ends every conversation with a new joke. (I'm in awe of her repertoire.)

Here's today's joke courtesy of Frances Mae Lippencott Britton (in honor of St. Patty's Day):

Shamus stumbles up to Sean in a bar and asks if he could buy him a drink.
"Why of course." says Sean.

Shamus asks: "Where are you from?"
"I'm from Ireland," replies Sean.

Shamus answers: "You don't say, I'm from Ireland too! Let's drink another to Ireland."
"Of Course," replies Sean.

Shamus then asks: "Where in Ireland are you from?"
"Dublin," replies Sean.
"I can't believe it," says Shamus.
"I'm from Dublin too! Let's have another drink to Dublin."
"Of course," replies Sean.

"What school did you go to?" asks Shamus.
"Saint Mary's," replies Sean.
"I graduated in '62."

"This is unbelievable!" says Shamus. "I went to Saint Mary's and I graduated in '62, too!"

About that time in comes one of the regulars and sits down at the bar.
"What's been going on?" he asks the bartender.
"Nothing much," replies the bartender. "The O'Malley twins are drunk again."

And then she tells me she loves me and ends with a bit of Irish wisdom:

Dance as if no one were watching,
Sing as if no one were listening,
And live every day as if it were your last.

Good advice. I'll take it.

Katiebod said...

Thanks, Bonnie.

Your Mom sounds like quite a character! That explains a lot about you my dear, sweet funny friend.

Your comment meant a lot.

Girls night out soon, please!