Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Things Meme Taught Me

Every morning when I wake up the first thing I do is, well it’s not the FIRST first thing but one of the first things I do is check my crackberry for messages. I read my emails while my coffee is brewing. This morning I found this on my messages.

To: Mom

From: Tadpole

Subject: Things Meme Taught Me

How to tell someone "f* you" and mean it.
How to paddle a butt
How to be kind and generous when no one is looking
How to annoy the piss out of your husband (my personal fav lol)
Take life by the horns and make it work
Put your big girl panties on and deal with it

Things my mom taught me:
Always look for the best in people
Love everyone cause they will be gone sooner than you think
Dont sweat the small stuff
Enjoy what you have, because you may lose it.

It made me weep. It made me weep because my mom, Nurse Meme, has been gone for three years.

It amazes me that she has been gone that long. I think of her every day and dream of her most nights. Yes she is often in my dreams, no make that she is usually in my dreams. When we travel in the motorhome she is always in my dreams. I’m not sure if that is my psyche wishing she were with me or if it is her spirit ready for the adventure. She loved traveling in the motorhome. She and Trooper Bob accompanied by his sister, Auntie V, took a trip the year before my mother passed. I have never seen her eyes light up or her smile as big as when she told me about her trip. She beamed when she told me things she saw and did. The wonders of Yellowstone National Park, the beauty of the Canadian Rockies were all enhanced when told through her eyes. She was ill that summer. I think she knew how sick she was but didn’t let on. You see my mother didn’t sleep a whole lot. She was a night owl and was ever moving. You would literally have to tie her to a chair to get her to sit down and watch a movie. She just had to be moving, cleaning, gardening, ironing and constantly in motion. She drank a million cups of coffee a day which would keep me moving. That summer she seemed to slow down. She took more naps and rested more. She let weeds grow in her garden and the floor go un-vacuumed. Heck she even left laundry un-ironed. I should have seen the signs but didn’t.

Nurse Meme taught me so many things. She taught me that life isn’t fair. She taught me that in marriages arguments are never equal and that is why you should always have a big iron skillet in your kitchen. I wish I would have implemented that when my ex-asshusband stuffed my face in a pot of hot spaghetti. I wish I would have listened more intently, paid more attention to her quips of wisdom. I wish that I would have taken more time to learn her way of doing things instead of rolling my eyes and saying “what difference does it make if you cut an onion on the side instead of on the round?” She was meticulous in everything she did, a true perfectionist. She was a clean freak and a neat freak. I was always a gatherer and a clutter-er. She would ask me why? Why do you need all that STUFF? What good is it?

Nurse Meme also taught me that you can’t change the past only improve the future. She would say would-of, could-of, should-of won’t change shit, but taking responsibility for yourself and making sure you don’t make those mistakes again make you a better person. She also taught me you are who you hang out with. This is another one of those things I wish I would have listened to more intently. Truer words were never spoken. Oh it doesn’t mean if you hang out with assholes you will become an asshole, it means if you hang out with them then that is what others will perceive you to be. Guilty by asshole-isation, so to speak.

There were so many Meme-isms in my life it would take volumes to quote them all. One of my favorites was “don’t shit where you eat.” Now think about that statement and how it pertains to life in general. You can take it literally and say to the guy in Wal-mart who came out of the stall holding a cheeseburger and a coke “don’t shit where you eat.” You can say it to the backstabbing co-worker who just undercut you but doesn’t know it’s up to you whether or not he gets a raise “don’t shit where you eat.” See how that works? The other thing she used to say was “put your big girl panties on and get over yourself”. Then there were the normal mommalese “don’t touch that, you’ll grow warts” and “you cross your eyes like that and they are gonna stick” or “you better stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about” but my favorite was “I’m gonna beat you in front of GAWD and everybody if you don’t straighten up”. She said that to me a bunch of times but honestly not as much as she should have.

I guess that what I’m trying to say is that even though Nurse Meme is gone, she really isn’t. She lives with me in my heart and my memory. She visits me in my dreams and in the far reaches of my mind.

 Her words ring out loud and true and I am thankful for having such a caring mother. She worked her fingers to the bone to give me and my siblings a good up bringing and strong morals.

Thank you Nurse Meme.


Brian Miller said...

dangit now you are making me teary...

Sue said...

I just realized last month that my mother had been gone twenty years. Twenty years, how did that happen? Even after this long she's still in my head. I think that if you are lucky enough to get a good one, they're never really gone.

Jaime said...

great post. i'm fortunate to still have most of my family with us, but we just buried hubby's grandma this week. i'm still a little teary over it...

Dual Mom said...

What a beautiful post. It's so wonderful that you dream of your mom like that.

Tracy said...

Love this post!

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

A very moving tribute to your mother. I always love reading about Nurse Meme and Tropper Bob...I love reading everything you write.

Merry Christmas Gladys!

Sarah said...

I love dreaming of my loved ones who have passed on...they are never far out of reach when we keep their memories alive!

Crone and Bear It said...

It's wonderful you have such lovely memories and she will be in your heart always sweetie. I lost my mom this year and with dad gone too, it's just so odd. It's just me and Devoted Spouse now. His folks have passed, too. Our memories are such treasures. Hugs and blessings!

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Great post...(maybe you should print this just in case..ya never know with technology!)

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Awww, Gladys, that is a very sweet tribute. And you're probably thinking even more of her during Christmas, but like you said, she's with you, so enjoy your holidays with her.

And "ex-asshusband"? Awesome.

Erin said...

Your mom sounds like she was an amazing woman. Beautiful post. Thanks!