My mom has been gone from this earth more years than I like to think about. The years since she died in some ways has flown by, in other ways, on those days when I'm missing her, it seems like an eternity. Thinking back I now realise I was a lucky kid. I got to spend a lot of time with my Mom growing up. She was a stay at home mom. So she was always there with me making sure I was safe. Safe but also an adventure, my mother was always on the go, and that meant I was on the go with her.
She was a nurse so that meant she was the point person for every other mother in the neighbourhood when it came to cuts, fevers and childhood diseases. As I was usually by her side while she was patching up one kid or another I leaned how to clean gravel out of a cut and apply pressure to a wound before I could read.. She didn't believe in making up cute names for bodily functions.. I still remember the shocked look on my kindergarden teacher's face when I put up my hand and asked if I could go to the bathroom to "void".
My mother was a genius with a needle and thread, she learned at her mother's knee. The two of them could knit and crochet anything. Mom made almost all my clothes when I was a child. She knit all my mitts, scarves and toques. I had crocheted shawls, lace collars on dresses, and embroidered ducks on my pockets. I had the best costumes every year at halloween, all made with her loving hands. My favorite was bunny costume when I was 3. Still remember how the hard she worked to figure a way to put wire in the ears so she could make them stand up like a "real bunny". She taught me how to sew. I can't remember not knowing how to sew. I would tease her that I grew up under a quilt because every Wednesday my Mom and Grandmother go to church and work on quilts to raise money for the church. They quilted above me, I played with my dolls and stuffed toys under the quilt.
Mom was also fun and athletic. She could dive. My Dad couldn't dive, but Mom could. She never waded into the water. Always a dive straight in off the end of the dock. She would swim up and down the shore talking to neighbours or fisherman passing by. She was the one to who bought our canoe with money she earned one year working for Revenue Canada. It didn't go high healed shoes, and she loved her shoes, it went to a canoe, something we all could enjoy at the cottage. Fifty years later we still have the canoe and it still provides fun.
Mom became a grandmother when I was 11 years old. She loved her grandchildren. Wendy lived in Ottawa so Randy spent lots of time at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Nancy was out west so Shareen and Jen didn't get to spend as much time with their grandparents so when they were in town it was always a huge celebration. Mom always made time with her grandchildren fun, there were board games and fudge making at the cottage. Mom love movies so there were car trips to drive-ins and theatres. She never drove by an ice cream parlor or Dairy Queen without stopping for a cone.
Mom and Dad seemed to have endless numbers of friends. My mother had close friends from childhood, friends she kept in touch with her whole life. The women she went through nursing training with were more like sisters. I knew them growing up to be like family. Mom liked people and people liked my her. She had a big heart and was generous. But I really think it was her ability to laugh and have fun that drew people to her.
Dad died when I was 24 years old, so I had Mom in my life a lot longer. Those years were special she got to see me grow as an adult and I got to see her as individual beyond being my mother. Thankfully I grew up enough to finally appreciate what a truely remarkable woman she was,.