Everything was roses to her. She was the epitome of femininity. Her favorite color was pink and she was a hopeless romantic. She loved all things vintage and was often scavengering at garage sales and estate sales mostly for old linens she could make into something new. She was a genius creator and made all kinds of cute things including aprons, baby shoes, pin cushions and so much more and sold them on her etsy site! She was the author of 2 published children's books, taught etiquette lessons to teen and young adult girls training for pageants, and was part of a women's singing group called the Notations. She was even crowned the title of Mrs. Arizona when I was 12 years old and served in many charity events. Needless to say, everyone thought she was amazing. And she was.
When she was diagnosed with lung cancer, she asked a friend to make her a "chemo" bag so she would have something cute to put her medications, books, and crocheting in when she went to her treatments. It was black and white polka dots with a pink ruffle. You would have never seen anyone so excited to go to chemotherapy. When we went wig shopping, we did a photo shoot and laughed hysterically when she tried on a short blonde wig. One day, we finished early from a radiation appointment and headed to Home Goods, our favorite store, and I pushed her around the whole store in her wheelchair. Of course we oo'd and ahh'd over everything and she picked out a porcelain kettle and said she wanted to buy it for me. I will treasure it forever.
She just couldn't miss this rummage sale we went to twice a year.
baby shoes she made out of a vintage pillowcase and scraps
Reading her book, "The Little Stream", to my kids, even while she was sick in bed.
I wrote a poem the week before my mother died of cancer. I can't really explain it, but somehow I knew it was about to happen. And I was at peace with it. Maybe because I had done it before, with my dad, and knew I would make it through, even though I know it would be a long horrible road. I remember my husband looking at me so strangely when I started writing her obituary before she was even gone. To me, it was a way to honor her and it gave me something to do that I felt was helping. Since really, there was nothing I could do to keep her here.
Her casket was even pink. All the flowers were roses and even the luncheon was decorated like a wedding reception! All the girls in the family, including the little granddaughters, painted our nails pink and wore pink dresses. The opening song at her funeral was, "There is Sunshine In My Soul Today!" It was a celebration of her life! Sure it might seem odd to outsiders to see all the fuss we put on for her funeral. But that's what she did. She always went all out. Everything was decorated to the nines and everything was over the top! Everything was always feminine and beautiful.
I have learned more about the importance of the presence of a mother, since she's been gone. Sure, I'm a grown woman and may not necessarily need to be mothered anymore. But I do miss her opinions, her advice, her support and her love. She may have had "motheritis" here and there, but I hope to live up to her example and be a better mother to my own children, because of her.