This post is all about Patsy McGlothlin, my mom.
Things I associate with Mom. Jontue perfume. Whenever I smell this perfume, I think of Mom. She has worn this perfume from earliest memory and continues wearing it to this day. I recall my sister giving her a different perfume one year, and I believe it was an expensive bottle, but I know for a fact that it is still sitting, unused, on her bathroom counter alongside a nearly empty bottle of Jontue.
Reading I have always associated with Mom. She taught me to read on a book of mouse stories, which influenced one of the greatest activities I do with my own kids. The mouse lies on the ground and stares at the clouds, seeing pictures in it. I can remember reading that story and making my Mom come outside and picture clouds with me. And when my kids were little we done the same thing, with my mom right beside of us staring up at the sky.
Cooking is always something I associate with Mom, after all she had five kids and it seemed to me that she was always cooking. Imagine my surprise when just a mere few months ago, I mentioned to her how much I hate cooking and she told me that she did too! But, Mom, I sputtered, you were always cooking. Yes, and you kids were always hungry, she replied. I sat there after the phone conversation thinking, How simple. She never complained about the hours in front of the stove (people in this house would love it if I took that gene from her, but I complain long and loud over hating to cook), and I reached the ripe old age of 35 before she ever said a word about not liking it, let alone hating it as passionately as I do. Amazing.
Niceness has always been an intergral part of my mom. She raised two handicapped daughters and taught the other three of us to not only tolerate, but to accept everyone for who and what they are. She was the mom in the Ford Escort with her own five kids, and numerous additions of the neighbors, taking us to cheerleading, football, Special Olympics, and various other activities. With a smile, singing along with the music on the radio, which was loud by neccessity and settling arguments that were bound to break out in an Escort full of teenage kids. And the only kid she ever forgot to pick up was me. She had the neighbors kids all home when I called and asked her if she forgot anyone. You could hear the confusion in her voice when she asked where I was. At school, I answered. What are you doing there? she asked. Waiting to go home, I said. She laughed, even if I wasn't amused and still won't let her forget it.
Strength of character comes to mind after that post, because the good Lord knows she had every reason not to be nice. She was abused. Some of my earliest memories are of the beatings my own dad inflicted on her. Her second marriage wasn't much better, except the abuse was mental instead of physical, which in some ways I think was harder to deal with. But she didn't let that make her mean and violent, she always encouraged and loved us and I think that says more about my Mom than anything ever could. She is a survivor. She survived life and I believe she has come through with flying colors. I pray that I come through it as well as she has.
Mom, I love you. You've been the one sure thing in my life and my biggest supporter in all things and words can never tell you how much I love and respect everything about you. Happy Mother's Day, Mom.