Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013: The Little Things

I knew as soon as I logged in that my Facebook feed was going to be a barrage of Mom pictures, sentiments and status updates. For a brief nano-second I actually considered staying off the site for the day. But, I quickly realized that it is not the celebration of mothers on one special day that makes me miss my Mom so much, it is the little parts of every ordinary day where her presence is missed.

It's funny to me the things that I remember and miss about her most. The most vivid image that has stayed with me lately is the slant of light that would pour out of her "recovery room" each night. Living in an old antebellum house, my parents were blessed with enough "empty" space that Mom was able to create her own getaway--a Mom cave of her own--where she surrounded herself with her favorite things. Paintings, pictures, music, books and of course her big comfy chair with a side table and lamp for reading. She called it the "recovery room" during her battle with cancer because that was her place of solace and relaxation. On most nights, I'd find her there curled up in that chair, her legs tucked up underneath her reading and munching on a bag of Skittles that she always had tucked in the drawer of her side table. And, although I didn't realize it then, I found immense comfort in this scene.  That little slant of light in a darkened hallway was a sign that she was there if I needed her. If I needed to chat or simply steal a goodnight hug (and maybe a few Skittles in the process). I miss that very much.

I could recount a blue gazillion things I miss about my Mom but the hole I feel the deepest lately is needing her advice and guidance in my own motherhood journey. The fact that she never knew either of my boys is mind-boggling to me. As I watch their personalities develop, I see things that she would love about each of them. Jacob's tender heart and shy mannerisms would endear him to her while Daniel's quick wit and humor would thrill her to no end. But on those days when the normal frustrations of motherhood wreak havock on my already tired brain, I would give anything to pick up the phone and talk to her-- if only to find out I was the same exact pain-in-the-rumpus to her as a child.

So many memories flood my mind today. Yellow daffodils, lemon ice box pie, John Denver and Neil Diamond blaring on the stereo. Vanilla Fields perfume and big floppy purses. The Carol Burnett Show playing as the smell of hamburger steak wafts in from the kitchen, the familiar whir of a sewing machine and the sound of her laughter as she watched a favorite episode of Seinfeld or Designing Women. And, perhaps my favorite sound of all...the way she would sing my name "Kate-a-laaaa" when she needed me.

I celebrate all those things today. But, most of all, I celebrate the thing that Pat Trotter did better than anything else in her life... she was a Mom. She was my Mom. And I miss her so very much.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. This Skittle's for you.