My Mother was my best friend. She was a devout Catholic girl from the boarding school era and never ever complained about being abused. She attributed her experience in boarding school as one that helped her achieve an admirable level of self-control. I believed everything my Mother told me.
She played basketball and was a cheerleader while in high school. She once told me her high school nickname was “Creep” because she had the ability to just creep away when in a group of friends who would sometimes find themselves in trouble with the priests or nuns. She never got caught! She graduated from St. Francis Mission High School in the 1950’s and earned a college degree from Sinte Gleska University in the 1980’s. I remember I was proud of her when she received her college degree. My Mother always encouraged me to continue my education.
When my siblings and I were small children, our Mother would take us shopping and spend her entire paycheck on new clothes for school. I remember her washing our clothes in one of those wringer washers and hanging them on the clothesline. Each school day she would lay out our clean clothes for us. We lived in the country so she would drive us to and from school every day so we didn’t have to walk. She always made sure we had enough food to eat. My Mother made sure we had the things we needed. My Mother loved my siblings and me.
I remember one Halloween when she made our costumes all by hand. My sister and I were dressed like hobos; we even had those little sticks with the sack of hobo belongings dangling from the end slung over our shoulders. She spent a lot of time sewing patches on some old clothes we had. I was very small but I remember we won a prize at the costume contest held at the old St. Agnes Hall in Parmelee.
My Mother always put her children first in her life. She always acted in our best interest. If we needed something she would find some way to get it. She encouraged me in all my endeavors. No matter what I wanted to do, my Mother allowed me the freedom to live my own life and make my own mistakes. I am the person I am today because of everything my Mother taught me. She was an excellent role-model.
I remember when I decided to attend a big university in a different state and my entire family tried everything to discourage me from going. My Mother was the only person who was supportive of what I wanted to do with my life. When the time came to move she helped me load up her car with all my belongings and then we drove all night to get there. She even loaned me money to pay my summer school tuition because I could not hold my classes without paying first and my financial aid would not disburse a check until the first day of class.
My Mother had a great sense of humor. She confided a lot about her life to me. She always gave me good advice. When I was a teenager she was very supportive of me. She came to all the school activities I participated in. Sometimes I thought she was a bigger fan of the basketball team than I was! I also remember how she glowed with pleasure when people would ask us if we were sisters.
Next month it will be 24 years since my Mother made her journey to the spirit world. Her passing left a major void in my life and I still miss her. You do not know what it is like to be without your Mother until she is gone. Mother’s Day is Sunday. Take the time to call your Mother or, better yet, go and see her in person. Give her a hug and tell her you love her. Fix her lunch or take her out to eat. Buy her flowers. Tell her you appreciate everything that she has done for you.
If you and your Mother are not on speaking terms, find it in your heart to mend whatever rift is between you. She made the choice to bring you into this world. Honor her for your life!