Sunday, October 17, 2010

Motherless Child

June Cleaver died........ and so did my Mom.  At 3 am Saturday morning she took her last breath.

She lived through the great depression and her memories of it were how people helped each other. She grew up in Cleveland and remained in contact with childhood friends until they by one.  She had the fondest childhood memories of anyone I've ever met.  My Grandfather was a wonderful man....... a hard worker and a man who enjoyed playing, too. He was a guitar player. He and my Grandmother used to take my Mom with them sometimes when he played. She loved them both dearly.  She was the captain of the swim team in high school and loved water her whole life, which explains my love of water and career choices.  She had a love of music, handed down from her Dad....she handed that down to me. We grew up with music in the house.  She taught me how to jitterbug  at a very young age.  She taught me manners. Everything from table etiquette to social etiquette. (something not taught enough to kids today)  She was a stickler that we dress properly. God forbid we wore white after Labor day.  To this day.....and I live on a subtropical island........ it's hard for me to wear white after Labor day!  She had a wonderful sense of humor and wit. My Dad was such a funny guy that no one really realized how witty she was until he died.  She loved to dance. When she was a kid she took tap dance lessons, and got my grandparents evicted from an apartment because she would tap dance in the hallway.  She was wonderfully naive.  I took a trip with my parents one year that took us to Texas and then across the gulf and down to Florida. We were in New Orleans the day after Mardi Gra.  Walking down the street, she commented to my Dad and me "boy there sure are a lot of big women in this town" as we walked past a drag queen.  She didn't always like my choices......but was always there to pick me up when I fell.  And trust me...... I've got many bruises.  She had a passion for reading, which she also passed along to me, and my daughter.  When she got macular degeneration and was no longer able to read it was one of the saddest times of her life.  God how she missed reading.  She was a lifelong Republican who voted for Barack Obama.  She sat and watched election results with us that night, and was elated to have lived long enough to see a black man in the White House and  the historical importance of the evening was not lost on her. Fortunately she wasn't well enough to see all the racism and hatred that has spewed forth from some of her fellow republicans since then. She made many people smile in her lifetime, and she was always  there to comfort her family and friends in their time of need.  She was there when I had my son, and she was taking care of my son when I had my daughter.  She had a deep love for her family.  And donuts.  RIP Mom...... thank you for the wonderful life you and Dad gave to me...... I'll miss you more than words can say.

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