Saturday, May 09, 2009

We Miss You, Mama



All this Mother's Day advertising and promotion this year has been painful to absorb because our Mom passed away two years ago and we all really miss her.
She was about 93 when this picture was taken--her sitting behind the wheel of a red T-Bird and threatening to drive far, far away.
She loved road trips, seeing new places and doing new things.
Her hats always matched her outfits and she liked sporty threads from stores most old ladies have never heard of, much less shopped at. Once I spied her wearing a very hip looking camp shirt in a muted tropical print. I checked the label and saw that she'd gotten it from Banana Republic. Imagine a 91-year-old wearing Banana Republic! But that was our mom.
Last year was our first Mother's Day without her, so my siblings, their partners and I rented a minivan and drove to New Orleans to be together and celebrate her life.
We had a great time until we were leaving town and I had the brilliant idea for us to drive down to the abysmal Lower Ninth Ward to give a donation to Habitat for Humanity to help rebuild some of the homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
Little did any of us know that there's a cottage industry in NOLA that involves locals intentionally causing fender benders and bilking tourists' insurance carriers out of thousands.
A pick-up truck containing a half dozen locals packed in like sardines collided with our rented van (I was driving) and long story short, I am currently being sued for $25,000 for their phony baloney injuries. Don't get me started on victims who fail to see the karmic implications of victimizing others.
Obviously we decided to skip the family road trip this year, but we wanted to do something for Mama, so BigSis came up with a plan to plant a little tree by her headstone. We all met at the cemetery today and planted a perfect little crepe myrtle that throws pink blooms. Then we sprinkled her site with multicolor rose petals that came from my birthday bouquet.
There's something so soothing about doing something tangible for loved ones who've passed away. Mama would have loved the little tree and we felt very close to her as we held hands and circled around her headstone to say a silent prayer for her.
I'd give anything to be able to kiss her little head and hold her hand and snuggle with her for even just one more moment.
If your mother is still living, please take the time to be with her if you can or contact her if you can't see her in person.
Take pictures, make a little video or do something that'll help you remember her once she's gone. Trust me on this.
...And for all you mothers out there, my wish for you is that your children love you as much as my siblings and I loved, and still love our mom.

10 comments:

FranIAm said...

Karen - what a beautiful post. Your mother sounded like quite the woman! And this makes a lot of sense now that I have gotten to know you a bit!

Plus it is not lost on me that you have pretty much never put a photo like this on your blog. Your mom, she is special.

Just like you.

Fran said...

Awwww a sweet post about your Momma.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

You've made me misty. Damn you.

Utah Savage said...

That was lovely. Your mother was great looking and so stylish in the hot little ride with her hat on. Too cool,

Sorry about the nuisance lawsuit, good luck with that.

Lisa said...

This was a lovely post about your mom. I'm sorry that last year's tribute to her was marred with the accident and resulting headaches. I love the idea of planting the tree. You're right - doing something tangible is important. I miss going to the cemetery with MathMan to put stones on his parents' headstones on Memorial Day.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Lisa, we always make sure to leave little stones on Mama's headstone as a hello.
On Valentine's Day I left a little red plastic heart.
Imagine my shock when I found the little heart had migrated to someone else's stone a few graves away. Well, I promptly reclaimed it and returned it to Mama's stone.
Keeping up with the Joneses apparently extends to the afterlife. Hrumph!

nonnie9999 said...

karen,
somewhere your sweet and sassy mom is looking down and smiling.

dguzman said...

Now we're even: you've met my mommy, and I've seen and learned a littlea about your mommy. Sweet!

Dusty said...

My momma is still kicking, but this really touched my heart. Thank you for expressing your love for her so well and so beautifully.

Lulu Maude said...

what a total cutie. my mama was similarly endowed with a love of life & adventure.

the best of legacies, no?

our mamas live in us if we work it right.