memories from my mother’s life

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I just came back from closing up my mother’s apartment in Florida and moving her to Virginia to live with my sister.  I thought I’d create a post to collect some of the fond memories of that trip.

Memories of watching Fiddler on the Roof:  My mom is not able to sit still for very long. She sits in the lazyboy for 20-30 minutes then goes to lie down for the same amount of time.  Then 20-30 minutes later it’s back to the chair in the den. So the first night of playing this VHS (that we found in one of her drawers in the den;we watched it in two evenings) when she sat for nearly two hours, we knew she was enjoying it.  It’s one of her favorite movies and also one of mine and we both sang all the words to every song.  I even heard her humming a song from the movie in the middle of the night.  It was so nice to watch one of my favorite movies with my favorite mom, my favorite sister and my favorite girl.  It’s a memory I’m going to cherish my whole life.

Memories of all those photos!  Something else I apparently inherited is collecting photos.  I have many electronic versions of my photos. But mom grew up before the electronic era and has many, many photos,  which ended up being a positive experience in that we were all able to take a trip down memory lane through these photos. There were photos I had never seen before, like the two very fragile and ancient photos of my mother’s grandparents! I believe these are my maternal grandmother’s parents. There were many photos of the early years of her marriage to my father and many photos of the cute little boy who is my brother. I shared so many of these photos with my facebook friends and relatives. I even surprised my cousin with a photo of her mother that she had never seen. Yes indeed, a very fond memory of this trip is viewing my mother’s life from so many different perspectives through her photos.  Here are some that I took photos of:

Memories of her last lunch bunch lunch:  We were privileged to attend Mom’s last lunch bunch gathering that she has been going to for many years. These were women she sang with, also the same women who won the lottery together.  Yes, it does happen!  They have met once a month for many years and pooled their money to play the lottery using the same numbers every week. In 2010 those numbers paid off! We planned our trip around this lunch so that we could go to the last one.  They order their food ahead so their meals arrive early then they sing “Heart of my heart” at the end. This time they started with “Auld Lang Syne” to Mom and many tears were shed. Then one of them said “let’s sing something happy now!” Here they are singing “Heart of my heart”:

Memories of hamburger and pimple: There are two words that every time my mother says them, it makes me laugh. So we had a bit of that again this trip. She says the word, I giggle, then she giggles. Happiness making.

Memories of “Nina, the elevator’s here!”:  In the mid 70s Mom took my sister and me to Hawaii for vacation. I don’t remember much about the trip but one of our favorite memories is this moment in time where Mom and I are waiting at the elevator at the hotel to go somewhere and Nina is nowhere to be found.  So we called down the hall “Nina, the elevator is here!” to try and hurry her along.  Mom still remembers that and I usually say it at some point when we’re all together, usually when we’re waiting on Nina for something.  It gets a big laugh every time.

Memories of my sister, the comforter:   We all have our many roles in life. One of my sister’s is that of comforter. One of mine is crying at the drop of a hat. As you can imagine, there were many emotional moments during this trip. The day Salvation Army came to take our donations of furniture and many boxes of household items, I went in a corner and started to cry. My daughter and my sister came to comfort me. It’s only fitting then that my sister becomes the caregiver and comforter of our mother for this next chapter in her life. I can’t express enough how grateful I am that my sister is able to do this.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

22 Comments

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22 responses to “memories from my mother’s life

  1. Susan

    Very nice summary of what was obviously a wonderful experience for all involved. It also shows how women are the caretakers, no matter in what way. Also nice that there were three generations sharing the experience. Truly another family album entry.

    • yes, I wanted something from the positive perspective to remember from this trip. It was a strenuous 10 days but there were some fun moments too! Thanks for your comments, as usual :-)

  2. There is nothing as wonderful as ‘real’ photos, is there? I like to scan and keep old ones to preserve them, but the real deal in your hand is the best.
    A sad time, but now all is well. Hope you are too, Toby. Have a wonderful weekend. <3 <3

  3. Dear Toby,
    I loved this post–so many stories, and I love the way you and your family interact–running jokes, a dear sister whose strengths complement yours. I remember too well having to close up my mother’s house in Detroit. I too am the emotional one, so you will understand when I tell you that my eyes teared up with you.

  4. Love to look at such happy memories :)

  5. Toby, I love the old pictures of your mom in her vibrant youth. And, “The a Fiddler on the Roof” movie will mean so much to you as time passes. Love your brother on the horse. All the best BTG

  6. Such lovely, happy memories, Toby. Thanks for sharing your family photos. they must be very precious to you. Your sister sounds like a wonderful and strong person. I really wish your mom well. xx

  7. All those wonderful photos ~ lovely memories for you. Thanks for sharing…

  8. Pingback: duets with my sister | travels with toby

  9. Pingback: My 4th blogoversary!! | travels with toby

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