At the pumpkin patch - my mother in the back in the green shirt! My sister is also in the photo.
First, let me start of saying, to those of you who have lost your mother - I extend my deepest sympathy. (Jen, you continue to be in our thoughts and prayers).
My mother is alot of things alot of the times, but mostly she is emotionally complicated (aka - crackhead!). I love her to pieces, and at the same time she drives me completely NUTS, I mean bonkers. She taught me my love for Pasty Cline, Elvis, family tradition, friends and how to notice the small things. When I was a child, I thought she was the prettiest woman I had ever seen, and even today, she can get gussied up with the best of them. I hope my features hold up as well as her's have.
As a child we would travel to up-state New York to visit her grandparents, my great-grandparents. They came over on the boat, arrived at Ellis Island and made their way up state. They set up a barber shop and became part of the mafia. My mother spent most of her summers with her grandparents and keeps a soft spot in her heart for them. They instilled old values, tradition and the value of love. My great-grandfather was full Italian, and my great-grandmother was full Irish. Back in those days and Italian man did not marry an Irish woman - it was just not heard of, the were sworn enemies. But my great-grandfather loved my great-grandmother with a level of passion that could not wavered. My point is that my mother is part Irish / Italian - which would explain her compassion, fierce believes, blind love and stubbornness.
My mother was an eccentric mother by small town standards, over protective, outspoken and loving. She grew up out East and had for the most part a privileged catholic childhood. She meet my dad when she was in her teens. He was the bad boy, and she was the catholic school girl with a defiant streak. My parents had my brother when my mom was 17, my father joined the Marines - without telling my mother.
My father was 19 and shipped off to CA for boot camp, my mother pregnant followed him. When she was 7 mths pregnant living off base, making her way into her apt a man followed her into her apt and brutally raped her. This explains alot about her, and the way she raised her children. Her overprotective standard was fueled by several events. We are lucky my mother and brother survived. In high-school my sister and I had a stalker - this event haunted my mother / father for several months. My mother and her fierce love for her children, and knowing how 'bad' people can be was willing to put a bullet in this man. My father beat the crap out of him, and my mother cheered him all the way. She will be damned if anyone will hurt her children or grandchildren. She will walk thru the fiery dooms of hell to protect you.
I know that is really pretty deep, but explains alot about my mother and why even though I am a grow adult, she still feels the need to protect us, coddle us and even at times suffocate us.
Example: last weekend we were walking down at the loop, I was window shopping falling behind the family pack. My mother came behind me, pushed me along and said -'I stay in the back, to make sure everyone is still here.' This struck me as funny ' what do you think I do when you are not around. I walk alone.'
Or when we were in Blueberry hill, and someone has to go to the bathroom. She refuses to let anyone go alone. I mean grown women cannot go alone. I ask her 'what are you going to do -wipe for me?' She finds my tone aggravating, for she really does mean well. But dear god, it is not as if she can really protect anyone. But it makes her feel better.
Did I mention that my mother was a crack head? Here is why. Last weekend, she made it very clear to my sister and I that she did not want to see us for at least two weeks. She was BUSY, stressed and seemed overwhelmed. Fine by us...we would just mail a card and be done with it.
We should have known it could not be that easy. She called yesterday, half in tears...'Michelle, I have decided that I want to get the 'kids' (all 6 of them) for the weekend.'
I laugh out loud -'are you okay? Are you having a break-down? Didn't you JUST tell me that you didn't want to see us?' I am laughing out loud.
My mom ' yes, that was a few days ago. But I have gotten alot of work done, and I really miss the kids. I want them, and I wanted to run it by you first to see what you thought?'
Me 'I think, you are a crackhead! I don't really care, but only if you are up to it. I don't need anyone to take my kids'.
Mom ' No, I WANT them. I need them in my house, playing out side and close to me.'
Me ' okay, let me know what Misty says - and we will work it out. BUT are you sure you don't just want to take some YOU time.'
Mom 'no. I really want to see the kids, my heart needs it.'
*Oh, this I understand. Her body and soul is fueled by her sense of family, the kids and being surrounded by those that she loves. The kids make her smile, provide her with undivided attention, love and support.
So, even with all of her crackhead qualities, she is still the most dedicated, lovely person I know. I am probably her most difficult child, we are the most alike. I am stubborn, outspoken, blunt, loving and fierce when I need to be. I have no shame in admitting failure, losing everything I have because I know that at all times I can go home. She has created a family structure that is strong (fractured at times), dysfunctional, loving, and loyal.
She is not always the best, not always sane, not always logical - but she is always trying, always loving, and always willing to be there. Thank you mom, for a wonderful childhood, never dull family and for never wavering when times got tough. I love you more than words can describe, and thank god that you are in my life. There are times when you drive me crazy, but I know that you always mean well, and are trying your best.