Thanks to all of you who were able to make it to Mom's funeral. She would have loved to give each of you a big smile and hug.
I got several requests for a copy of the words I spoke about Mom, so I thought I would post them here:
I want to share a few things I'll never forget about Mom:
-She loved her family. Mom -- and Dad too-- both said "I love you" a lot. I was surprised and sad the first time I heard that not all kids are that lucky.
-She was a great Mom. She never played favorites, never expected Lori and I to be alike or to be like her. She was willing to celebrate our differences but love us both the same.
-She was a great wife. I never heard her talk disrespecfully about Dad or to Dad. Even angry I don't remember her ever resorting to name-calling or meanness. She often told me how lucky she was to have Dad, and how great or handsome he is. She gave me great advice years ago about marraige. She said that she and Dad never let divorce become an option, so they always were able to work out any problems.
-She loved her granddaughters. She came when each of them was born, and loved them as babies, and enjoyed watching them grow. She would get so tickled to talk to them on the phone, and loved shopping for them. She was awesome at shopping for little girls. She bought each of them a knitting bag with yarn, needles and all of the accessories and was so proud of them when they learned to knit. She was willing to buy them the "noisy toys" that Steve and I are so reluctant to buy, and she came to visit every birthday she could.
-She was a hard worker. I could count on waking up to a vacuum every Saturday morning, and before the morning was over, Lori and I were also vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning bathrooms. She also made the work fun. When she cleaned the kitchen floor, she would line the chairs up in the hallway and Lori and I would play choo-choo train.
-She spoke well of people. I don't ever remember her cutting anyone down to their face, or behind it.
-She loved baseball. We got out of school an hour or so before Mom got off of work. It was not unusual during baseball season for her to make us interrupt Brady Bunch or Scooby Doo to turn to TBS or WGN and tell her the score of a Cub's or Brave's game. She would do mounds of ironing watching baseball, and she took us to Wrigley Field a few times to see the Cubs in person. That love didn't get passed on. I always took a good book.
-She loved to knit. One of my earliest memories is of her knitting a pink and maroon afghan at Park Town apartments. She often knit during her commutes in San Francisco, but got too busy when we were kids to knit much. I'm so grateful she took the time when I was in elementary school to teach me how to knit, and it was awesome to see her really take it up again when she retired.
-She was creative. Another early memory from the apartments was watching her make headboards for our twin beds. One was Raggedy Ann, and another was Raggedy Andy. I remember watching her paint their faces and staple on their hair. I also remember watching her paint the frame of a corkboard for our room. She painted flowers around it, and across the top she painted "Love One Another"
-She loved music. Especially Frank Sinatra, Barbra Strisand and Olivia Newton-John. She sang to us when we were little. She sang quite off-key and often improvised the lyrics. My piano playing was as bad as her singing, but we would sit together on the piano bench and I would play and we would sing. I sing many of the same songs to my girls. Mairzy Doats and Funny Face are a couple of their favorites.
-She dreamed big. I remember her Christmas list in 1981. Number 1 on her list was "a fling with Frank Sinatra". Number 2 was a 1980 Thunderbird. She did get the Thunderbird 5 or 6 years later.
-She loved her cats. Over the years Banjo, Topaz, Morris, Monet and Cashmere got lots of love from Mom.
-She loved feeding the birds and squirrels outside. When we were little, when bread or crackers got stale, we would always throw them in the backyard for the birds. In the house in Charlotte, almost every window has a bird feeder in view, and there are quite a few outside the kitchen window by the phone. I could count on hearing about the birds out the window every time I called Mom. This last visit when she became bedridden I would sit on her bed and describe the birds in the backyard, especially a cardinal and his mate who were building a nest tall in a tree.
When someone would tell me that I look like my mother she would say, "Tell them thank you!"
I'm happy to take after Mom in many ways, and other ways I'm still aspiring to be like her.
Feel free to share any memories you have of Mom in the comments.