I am a little late with my blog post this week as I spent Saturday night with a very sick friend. I told her I would help her in any way I can. I told her I would really love to use my writing skills to help her with any writing or correspondence she needs while she is ill – helping with thank you notes, for instance. Her daughter is a senior in high school, and I knew she and her daughter would be participating in an upcoming “Senior girl send-off” event in the fall. Perhaps I could help her prepare for that.
I know about this event because three years ago another of my good friends, Leanne, took on revamping the main attraction of this annual rite of passage for senior girls and their moms. It is hosted by the National Charity League whose mission is to “foster mother-daughter relationships in a philanthropic organization committed to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences.” Moms and daughters begin participating when the girls are in seventh grade, then during the girls’ senior year, they host a luncheon in which the moms and daughters pay tribute to each other through speeches and photos.
Before Leanne took over the program portion of the Houston event, moms and daughters, many of whom were fearful of public speaking, would get up to the podium and fumble with their words and/or (usually and) begin crying. I gather it was a sweet but stressful mess. Leanne very ingeniously reformatted the program such that the moms and daughters prerecord their remarks, which are compiled with photos into a video that is screened at the event. Apparently it’s a big hit, not a dry eye in the house.
To do their recordings, the moms and daughters are given prompts, one of which is, “What I want you to know about my [mom or daughter] is…” As I learned about this, I thought, wow. We never did anything like this when I was in high school. Maybe others did and I was just too busy hanging out with friends in the Tenneco parking lot on Memorial Drive or Bear Creek Park, or planning my next party when my parents were out of town. Then I thought, well, it’s never too late, what the heck. So today’s blog is my very belated tribute to my mom.
What I want you to know about my mom, Dorothy, is…
She is as beautiful inside as she is out. And she is a very pretty woman.
She never sweats. I am serious, I have never seen her wipe her brow.
She seldom cusses. I have never heard her use the King Kong swear word, or even its slightly lesser counterpart. Maybe a “damn” or “hell” if she is really ticked (which, come to think of it, is seldom since my father passed). So it’s fair to say she doesn’t cuss.
She seldom if ever says an unkind word about people.
She was born in Waco, Texas and was supposed to be Dorothy Jean, but the hospital or birth certificate people screwed up and used a “G” instead of a “J” for her middle name.
Her favorite filler word is “anyhow,” and she uses it to change the subject in conversations with me, particularly when I am giving her a hard time about something. I may say, “Mom, have you made that doctor appointment?” and she’ll say, “no,” offer some excuse, then, to change the subject and get me off her back, she’ll say, “Well, annnyyyyyhhhoooowwww,” then change the subject. Cracks me up.
She loves me unconditionally.
She is very proud of me.
She has the patience of a saint, and she never loses her cool, not even when she delivered her ‘Victim Impact Statement’ in the trial of the drunk driver who ended my sister’s life. (I would have come unglued.)
She is a loving mom to my nephew, Aaron. Has been all his life, but especially since my sister passed away.
She is a talented artist (watercolors) and seamstress. When I was just starting out in my career, she made most of my clothes, everything from beautifully tailored suits to evening gowns. She made so many of my clothes that when I would go shopping, I wouldn’t even know what size to try on.
I could go on for days, but you get the picture. My mom is a very special woman.
I would rather share this with you now than after she’s gone. Obituaries are so lost on the departed, aren’t they?
What do you want the world to know about your mom?
2 thoughts on “What I want you to know about my mom is…”
Well, my mom is gone from this earth now. And, we didn’t have a traditional funeral for her. I figured she wasn’t really a traditional kind of gal either ( I use gal because that’s what my dad used to call her.. “My favorite gal.”) She was really quite something. The blessing is that I was able to tell her all the things that she meant to me before she died. I feel so fortunate for that.
She was a lover of all things fun. Mary Jo or Jo for short, never missed a party and could dance until dawn. She often wore dad out at parties because she could just keep going. I once went to pick her up from a party because dad had come home early. I asked someone where I would find Jo and they said, “Oh, you can’t miss her.” I walked in to the event and there she was up on a table kicking her legs up like a Rockette to the music of New York, New York. Man, she loved New York. I think she most liked the glitter, glam and that business that no one ever sleeps. Besides her fun side, she was an amazing cook. She could dish up a mean pot roast and her cinnamon gooey rolls were heaven. I could eat a pan of them now. Back when CB’s were the thing, her handle was the Blonde Bomber. We (the kids) always found that so cool. Our mom the Blonde Bomber. There is a funny story behind that, but I won’t get into it now. I just remember how great I thought it was to hear her saying, “Breaker 1 – 9. This is the Blonde Bomber. What’s your 20?” I can still hear her now if I listen hard enough. She was something!
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Oh John. How fabulous. Your mom sounds like such a kick (no pun intended). Thanks so much for sharing these fond remembrances. XO