Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Wishing all the moms I know a happy Mother's Day and remembering my own mother.

Her middle name was Rose and she loved roses so. I look out as I write this on a half-century old rose bush in the far corner of the back yard. Identified a few years ago by my friend G. (a mother herself) as Cecil Brunner, it is coverd in pale pink blossoms and buds.

In the far corner of the front yard is the "cornflake" rose, the one that Mama planted. We ate whatever cereal it was that had the offer. Three boxtops were sent in and the bare-roots plant arrived. Papa planted it in the far corner. At one time, it filled that corner with a huge bush. The bush is struggling to survive against the poisonous oleander planted on the other side of the fence. Sigh.

I would love to identify this rose so that I could find another. At one time it was so fragrant that all I had to do was open the front door and the fragrance filled the house. Over the years, it has lost its fragrance.

When we lived in Toledo, Mama also grew beefsteak tomatoes in the summer. Very best tomatoes I ever ate. My memories of her are of a woman always busy with her hands. Laundry, cooking, washing dishes, ironing and finally at the end of the day a few minutes to herself to play her beloved piano.

Sometimes, looking back, I wish my parents could have home schooled us. Music and literature, French and cooking, history and domestic science could have come from Mama. Math and science from Papa. It would have been much more fun than school. Of course, it wasn't done then and I am sure she never thought of herself as a teacher. When we came to California, she became one, teaching in the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine program at St. Athanasius, our local parish church. She would have been a wonderful piano teacher too.

Sunday mornings bring back memories of Mass, followed by brunch. Ah the smells of bacon and eggs and cinnamon toast! The Sunday comics were followed by homework in the afternoon and more cooking for Sunday dinner. Bike rides around the neighborhood on Sunday afternoons, especially in the Fall, finished with coming home to those good food smells. Finally, in the evening we would all watch Maverick.

Mama loved life and her laughter, love and music filled our lives. We were so blessed and are so grateful.

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