You know what's strange?
Tom and I talk about it all the time...
how much of an impact our Mother's have on us and we are only with them for 18 years.
The bulk of a mother's job is done whether we are living at home or not by 18 years of age.
I think about my mom a lot.
She was an incredible Mom and I owe her everything...truly.
My mom was always there for me and I knew how much she always loved me.
Mom was always the first word I yelled when I walked in my home.
She was kind and made me feel special.
I remember every Mother's day making her a card and cutting lilacs from my neighbor's yard. She would smell the fragrant lilacs, read my card and cry.
She made me feel like it was the best Mother's day gift in the entire world. a. She would wrap her arms around me and make feel like the most important girl in the entire world.
I would always study my mom's hands.
She had beautiful hands with perfectly manicured finger nails and beautiful jewelry but you could see her veins. I would hold her hands and rub at her veins.
I look at my own hands now and I have her hands. Well without the manicured nails and jewelry but they remind me of my mom's hands. I thought my mom was so old but she was so young.. .. In her forties when I was in my teen years.
My mom was on the phone a lot.
I loved my mom's voice and it was soothing to have her gabbing and laughing all the time up in our kitchen. She was so much more social than I am. My mom loved talking and being around other people. She had a ton of friends and was going to parties or playing tennis or going to lunch. My mom was definitely an extrovert.
She was just so beautiful...I'm talking movie star beautiful.
In fact I was always so proud of how stylish and beautiful my mom was. I was never embarrassed of her...not even one time. She looked stunning every time she left the house. She would never go to the store in an apron and slippers like I do. :) Everybody loved her and told me how gorgeous and wonderful she was. I would constantly run into people and they would say, "Your mom is Gay Cederlof? She is the most beautiful person I ever met."
I thought she was too.
My parents were like a glamour couple off of the pages of a magazine. My stunning mother and my 6 foot tall dad with his dark hair and his dark commanding business suits driving around in their BMW or convertible Jaguar.
The golden couple of Salt Lake during the 60's and 70's.
My mom wasn't a strict mom.
I never remember a ton of rules, I didn't even have a curfew in high school, but we had chores that we were expected to do. We always had a cleaning lady so the chores were always in our 2 acre yard somewhere. I hated doing yard work and sometimes I think she just made up stuff for us kids to do. "Pull those weeds in between the brick cracks," She would say or "Move those rocks from one side of the hill to the other," It made zero sense to me and I think it was the only time my mom would get mad at me. I just couldn't help myself from endlessly complaining. It all just seemed like such a waste of time.
My mom was always busy doing something, although I couldn't tell you what.
My mom had a serious temper...she would get ticked.
We have story after story of her freaking out and trying to get at one of us 5 kids. We knew the drill and we would take off running full speed and she would accidentally whack a neighbor kid. I am sorry to report that sometimes pitchforks were involved but have no fear as soon as she realized it wasn't her child she would instantly calm down. (These were different times millennial children... my mom was never even sued.)
She could really scream too... but it wasn't ever really me that was on the receiving end of her anger.
I was the fourth child out of five, passive and hated confrontation. I deliberately made choices to not get in trouble. Annabelle, my little sister, and I got lost in the shuffle and played in our own little made up world of dolls and pet rocks. Even as a teenager I just never got in trouble. I am not saying I didn't do mischievous things, it's just that I flew under the radar because I wasn't testing the boundaries too much. I have always been a pleaser and like I said I never wanted my parents mad at me. I loved my mom and dad so much and I never wanted to disappoint them.
I remember when I was a sophomore in high school, I sluffed school with a bunch of other kids. There were 10 of us in all and we stuffed ourselves in a little, teeny, tiny car. I was stacked on two other people with my cheek smashed against the window. We thought we were so funny until we got pulled over by a truancy officer and all of us got suspended from school. I had to call my mom from the principal's office and tell her what I had done. I was bawling and could hardly get my horrible story out. She just listened and by the time I got home she wrapped me up in one of her huge hugs and said, "I am actually glad you got in trouble, now let's go shopping and celebrate."
My mom loved dancing...especially ballet.
I know that is where my passion comes from. We would get dressed up, drive to capital theater in downtown Salt Lake and watch ballet West. They are still some of my favorite memories. By the time I was in 6th grade I was dancing a couple of hours a day. By the time I was in the 9th grade I was dancing 6 hours a day. I can't express the love I have for ballet and the sheer joy I felt when I was dancing. I didn't end up dancing forever like I thought I would but it gave a me a lifelong love of ballet and the symphony. In fact on Wednesday I am going to see "Romeo and Juliet" in San Francisco at the War Memorial Opera house with my sister in law, Ann. I will get goose bumps and I will cry happy tears when the symphony starts and the curtain goes up....
just like my mom.
My mom loves cute things.
Cute clothes, cute jewelry, cute furniture, cute houses, cute gardens and cute people.
She was the ultimate consumer and luckily my dad didn't mind funding it. Or at least he never protested enough to make a difference. She dressed to the nines and had an amazing sense of style. She and my dad loved all things English and the house they built in the 70's had as much English charm as any I have ever seen. Probably 25 % of my furniture was in my parents house and let me tell you my pieces are stunning. English antique cabinets and tables... I should do a post on my furniture alone. I know I get so much decorating style from my mom. We love the same things from old dishes to old quilts. I just love cute things too. She completely passed that on. I joke with Tom...when it comes to decorating "cute before function." I know I said cute a lot here but it is the only adjective that is appropriate. It is how we describe everything in my family.
I feel like I had a pretty idealistic childhood.
Growing up in the 70's and 80'sIt was a simpler time. It was a time when all the dad's worked and all the mom's stayed home. Mom's socialized and the kids played outside all day. The only time we watched tv was after school (Brady bunch and Gilligan's island in the 70's and Happy Days in the 80's) and on Saturday night. (Love Boat and Fantasy Island) I never watched anything else...ever.
We came in after we played outside, ate dinner, that my mom had made, read stories and got tucked into bed.
During it all my mom was there....
I love her for it.
She gave up everything for her 5 children.
She was far from perfect but there isn't a mother in the world that is.
She absolutely did the best she could.
My mom is 78 years old.
She lives in a beautiful assisted living center.
She stays busy with the activities there but longs to be anywhere else.
Her little brain is slipping.
She forgets things.
She is old and frail.
She still loves cute things.
She is the best dressed old lady you have ever seen and she lives in the cutest apartment in all of assisted living centers.
When I can't answer the phone she leaves me messages on my phone telling me how much she loves me and how proud she is of
She tells me how glad she is that I am her daughter and that she misses me.
I miss those first 18 years of my life and I miss that mom...I always will.
She won't read this.
She wouldn't know a computer from a toaster.
But I have been thinking of her all week.
I am so glad she was my mom and I love her so much.
So I am giving her some imaginary lilacs from 2 sates away..
She is who I celebrate on Mother's day.