Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Oh Momma

I refuse to accept that summer is (almost) over, and I am doing OK.

I am always saddened to hear stories where parents and children do not get along.  Sure, we all have disagreements and frustrations, but we usually make it through because there is need and love.  I think that most people do their best at parenthood and even though we all make mistakes and are not perfect, our hearts are usually in the right place.

My mom came from the "greatest generation".  She was born during the First World War, lived through the terrible depression, lost her mother as a teenager,  and contracted TB while pregnant with my older sister.  She never talked about those times; they were things we learned mostly from other relatives.  Her health was always iffy, but somehow she lived into her eighties.  I remember always worrying about losing her.  However, maybe because of her difficulties or in spite of them, she had the most wonderful sense of humor.  She had a quick wit, and the times I remember best were when all the family gathered together and the house was full of laughter.  Despite all the troubles in their lives,  the stories they would tell were happy.  A picture in my mind is of them all sitting around the kitchen table slapping their knees as they laughed hysterically over some small matter.

She has been gone 13 years now, but it often seems like she is always with me.  I see her eyes in my daughter and granddaughter, and I remember her smile when I look at things that I know that she would love.  She was a kind woman, a strict parent (most were in those days), and knew no bounds when it came to love.  She was a good teacher for us all.

When my parents died (seven months apart), we cleaned out the house and disposed of much of their possessions.  However, she was a collector of notes, letters, cards and inspirational writings that she would find.  Many of these we could not part with.  Recently, my sister came across something that she had kept.  I think I remember it sticking in the corner of her mirror in her bedroom or maybe on her dresser.

Here it is and it is something that is appropriate for my time in life.
 Photo

A Prayer For Those Growing Old
(author unknown)

Lord, Thou knowest I am growing older

Keep me from becoming talkative and possessed
with the idea that I must express myself on
every subject.

Release me from the craving to straighten out
everyone's affairs.

Keep me from the recital of endless detail.  Give
me wings to get to the point.

Seal my lips when I am inclined to tell of my
aches and pains.  They are increasing with the
years and my love to speak of them grows
sweeter as time goes by.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally
I may be wrong.  Make me thoughtful but not
nosey; helpful, but not bossy.  With my vast
store of wisdom and experience it does seem a
pity not to use it all.  But Thou knowest, Lord,
that I want a few friends at the end.

My mom is still teaching me and making me smile.

46 comments:

  1. A great little prayer. I once told my daughter I liked not being in charge anymore. I like not solving the problems.

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    1. Neither do I, Joanne. However, it is best to MYOB most of the time, but when it touches those you love, it is hard.

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  2. I'm so glad you had such a beautiful mother. The love you shared shines on the page.

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  3. Lovely and so true! thanks for posting ! :)

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  4. Arleen, that is a lovely prayer, full of good sense which I shall doubtless forget next time somebody brings up an emotionally charged event from the past. Good thing I was not at Woodstock or I'd never shut up.

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    1. Good sense sometimes get lost in our pockets, Geo. I find that I sometimes find it too late.

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  5. That is a brilliant prayer. And something to remember.
    Love and laughter make up for a lot of (supposed) parental failings don't they?

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  6. This is a charming post Arleen. I really believe that a loved-one is never really 'gone'. Their memory is always with us and they stay alive in our minds.
    Like you, I find it incredulous that some parents and children do not speak to each other! It would be impossible for Leah (Mrs Bazza) and me to be not speaking to our two lovely daughters.
    Continuing my new experiment of naming the music I am listening to while posting or commenting - right now it's: Mozart 40 in G minor, always a good hum along tune!
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. Being estranged from a family member has to be one of the most difficult things to deal with in life. How very sad it is indeed.

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  7. Families are so important. Your mother was such a wise woman.

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  8. I’ve copied this prayer into my personal diary.

    Many more of us should read and follow.

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  9. i could use a copy of that stuck in the corner of my mirror myself.

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  10. It is like receiving a gift when we encounter a long lost keepsake from a loved one who has died. I also have a box of miscellaneous things from my mother. I'm surprised at the memories that flood back when I run across one of those items when I'm cleaning.

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    1. I love to see my Mom's handwriting most of all. It is a little piece of her.

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  11. I think the sentiments offered in that poem contribute to people thinking that the elderly are either dumb or stupid. Better, methinks, to express considered opinion when/where appropriate. OK, I'm a rebel.

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    1. I don't think of it as a put-down, Cro. Life gives us many opportunities to laugh at ourselves and it is good to do this at any age.

      Dumb comes in all shapes and numbers.

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  12. Your mom sounds like she was a wonderful woman, and you definitely have her kindness, and sense of humor! I'm sorry that you lost both parents so close together. That poem is filled with so many brilliant lines that ring true. Your mom was a very bright lady!

    Julie

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    1. She was of "the old school" and of old times when people were more respectful of others.

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  13. Hello Arleen,

    This is a truly delightful post. Such a wonderfully touching tribute to your mother who clearly was a great inspiration not only to you but to all your family. Love can, as you say, conquer all but there are only a few special people in life capable of giving such an unconditional live as your mother did. Your family is definitely the richer for having known her and for having her wisdom and guidance in your lives.

    The poem is truly lovely. A simple message, beautifully conveyed, but simplicity does not make it easy to carry out. Still, trying is the important part!

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    1. Yes, you are right, Lance and Jane. It is often difficult not to share advice, but in the long run, it is so much easier.

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  14. Your mom gave you a beautiful heart too!

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  15. You were lucky to have her and the humor she passed onto you! The prayer made me laugh as I do recognise my own Mum there as she became very old. Must watch out for the pitfalls of aging

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  16. Dear Arleen, how blessed you were in your mom--in her sense of humor and her steadfastness. I so liked the prayer she had by her mirror and it so aptly captures the temptations we all have as we age. I need to say this prayer each and every day! Thank you for sharing it and also for sharing your love for your mother. Peace.

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  17. Beautiful, Arleen. Thanks for sharing this and your thoughts with us.

    I lost my mother in 1974...a long time ago now...she was only 54. And I miss her still...I always will. We had our disagreements at times, of course, but we always got past them, too. :)

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  18. What a beautiful post, Arleen. I think your mom qualifies as your favorite old broad, and well she should. Anyone who kept that prayer close at hand must have been an extraordinary person. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Now, I'm gonna steal it. (I can use all the help I can get...)

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  19. It means a lot that your mother kept that poem/prayer especially. It is one worth copying and framing.

    My mother died only 3 years ago. I still pick up the phone to call her about something that happened. The ties never are cut, only grow stronger with time.

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  20. Your mother was a wonderful woman. You must have been so pleased to find this little poem that she liked and is so true - everyone should follow the words in it but it is not always easy.

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  21. That is a lovely poem. I think I will copy it and send it to my94 year old mother. Oh, and thank you for buying "Kin We're Not Related To"

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  22. I smiled at that too.
    Great advice,
    and isn't it nice to know your mom is still there for you.

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  23. Good advice indeed. I had an aunt who would go on and on about her health ailments over the phone. It was cute, but I remember telling myself to never do that to the youngins when I grew older.

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  24. Hi there. I found you via Susan Flett Swiderski and have to tell you I love the picture on your masthead and the wonderful poem. I think I need to print that one out and hang it on the fridge, and on the mirror, and on my steering wheel, and on my bedroom ceiling. Oops, can't to that one. I'm too blind without my glasses. Nice to meet you!

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  25. My mom was like that too and would have loved those notes your mom kept. Thank you for all your visits and comment and support. It all means a lot and helps a lot too.

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  26. such good advice this reminds me of my Dad,,

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  27. It was such a different way of life your mother grew up in... it's wonderful she had such a sense of humor ;-)

    It's sad when we lose our parents, I lost mine within 5 years of each other, thankfully I believe in more than just here... wonderful post!

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  28. It's so great that you have good memories of your mother! Mine was a bit younger than yours, but of a generation where women became mothers - whether they wanted to or were any good at it or not. There was no real choice. I love the poem. My hubby (who's younger than me) needs this one. He tells such meandering stories...

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  29. People who have their mother in their lives are blessed. Mine died very young. I still miss her, even after all these years. Enjoy them while you can!

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  30. What a lovely tribute to your Mom. And what a treasure she left behind- you.

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