This is my favorite picture of my mom and me! She looks so young and happy and it brings back wonderful memories of a very happy childhood, with endless summers of play, swimming and fun. Of course, she'd be an old lady if she were still alive and would have deteriorating health, a desire to keep her independence in spite of her ever-shrinking world and -- probably -- a great amount of CRABBINESS! If Libby was nothing else, she was outspoken!
But today I'm thinking about all the good things. My mom always told us to "stay with the happy people" -- good advise, since discontent is contagious. She was highly competent and organized, two qualities I really admire. She taught me to sew and, later, I taught her to quilt. She could type faster than anyone I've ever known and helped me work my way through many an English paper. She had a great reserve of faith and used it to get through a childhood of poverty & neglect and my dad's terminal illness. She didn't, however, have a reserve of "joy" to keep her from getting angry at those tough things and I've always been sad about that for her.
I think I've got alot of Libby in me. I've got an opinion about everything and seldom back down from an argument (though I DO hope I've learned a little more tact & sensitivity)! I like to organize things and accomplish tasks -- very Libby traits. I enjoy making things and keeping my hands busy. I hope that I have some of her personal strength and ability to get through things. I also hope she'd be proud of some of the things I've done and the way I've dealt with my own blows in life.
I've also been thinking about my grandmother, Ningle. My sister said this weekend that Ning was my "true mom" and in most ways, I think that's true. Ningle taught me to bake and to sew, to iron and play cards. Since she moved in with us when I was just a few weeks old, Ningle was my caregiver and my companion most of the time I was growing up. Her cool, dry hands are the ones I remember on my forehead when I had migraines and she's the one I'd talk to when I was upset. I remember stealing just-made homemade noodles while they dried, licking the beaters when we baked, and sharing many evenings of 500 Rummy, Perry Mason and M&Ms. I also remember Cindy and I writing pretend love-notes from Ningle to Buck, the egg man and to the milk man (very funny!) Ning never minded when we teased her, seeing that it was just another expression of love.
So, this Mother's Day brings a tribute to the two women who helped make me who I am today.
Anyway, thanks for reading to the end of this long post (Charlie says he never finishes them!) -- and... thanks for visiting!