Mom: the things I remember most. Her cooking; things like caramel popcorn, cup cones (cake mix baked in an ice cream cone), fried potatoes, ham with pineapple slices on it, pork chops with apple sauce, homemade bread, fried doughnuts rolled in powered sugar, spaghetti and french bread feasts so big she would use newspapers as table cloths, and the best peanut butter fudge I have ever had. Things I didn’t like; scallop potatoes, broccoli and brussel sprouts. When it was dinner time mom would step out on the back porch and yell clear through the neighborhood our names and the word “dinner”, it was common practice back then and every kid knew his or her mom’s dinner call. I remember half sticks of Wrigley’s Double Mint gum from the bottom of her purse. I remember we would all get to hear our middle names when we were in trouble. I remember the “razor strap” kept us in line, and she would threaten to hit us so hard “our heads would spin”, and today I still wonder just how hard that would be? I remember we always had to take our little brother with us when we went out to play. I remember she always had lots of indoor house plants and would sometimes steal a start off of a plant somewhere and put it in her purse and then revive it when she got home. I remember going to drive-in movies, camping and family outings. I remember her losing her voice because of us, and slipping discs in her back because of us, and slowly, gently walking on her back to pop them back into space. I remember she loved pickled pig’s feet, laughing, animals and children. She loved getting away at the spur of the moment, so she could relax and we could play, whether it be to a friend’s house, the woods or by a river, we always had a good time. Looking back in it it’s amazing how many of these things I still do and will always love. These are some of the things that I will always remember the most about my mom….
I was holding you when you took your last breath but I still hear, “hello mother, hello daughter “our greeting for all my adult life. When I close my eyes and think back to you and me and how we survived…. It is amazing what time and age does to memories and what is important.
There are a few things that I lied about: Yes, Quenten and I did shake the soda between the clean sheets the week after you brought Troy home from the hospital. We weren’t jealous. We just wanted to see how high the soda would go if we shook it. The lipstick that disappeared every year after Thanksgiving and appeared wrapped under the Christmas tree…… it was me. When you are 5yrs. old it makes sense to give your mom the one thing she likes. (At the time it made sense.)
Thank you for wearing all the $1.98 toilet water and Evening in Paris from Callahan’s Drug Store that we proudly collected bottles to buy for your birthdays and Christmas mornings.
Thank you for giving the boys and I the freedom to make our own adventures. Whether it was crossing the gully and talking to the hobos on our way down to catching and selling bullheads to the fisherman, walking under the highway between Factoria and Eniti to spend the day swimming or just packing us a lunch so we could spend the day in the Grandpa’s woods climbing trees, making forts and having our own fern fights. It developed in me a sense of adventure and discovery that has taken me out of the country several times, allowed me the experience of living in a foreign country, given me the courage to move my child to Alaska when I thought that was what was best for her future and allowed me the courage to take many road trips without a destination. Waking up in the morning and driving 6 hours round trip for a cup of coffee to Pike Place or appreciating the smell of bacon cooking on an open fire while camping, thank you for that appreciation of adventure.
Thank you for being strong willed. No matter what life threw you I never saw you give up. When we didn’t have enough to go around at meal time and we showed up with friends you just made more biscuits and welcomed them to our table. When someone was having trouble at home and needed a place to stay they were always welcomed even though you called their parents to let them know their child was okay after we went to bed.
Thank you for having double standards. Although I didn’t like it when I was home it served me well as a parent. I know I spent hours whining about why the boys could stay out after dark and I needed to be in the house at dark. What I did learn was there is a difference between girls and boys and that is not a bad thing. Through the years that knowledge has served me well; not only as a parent and grandparent but also as a teacher in dealing with general life situations with my students.
When I look back at the tumultuous relationship over the years the things that were important to me at that time have sifted like sand into the ocean but the things that made me who I am stayed and made me who I am today. You instilled a sense of giving even if you have nothing to give but time; doing for others before yourself; honesty; not to steal from one another and certainly not from your neighbors. Of course that is why we went blocks to “collect” bottles so we could buy penny candy at Mr. Bakers before we went to the Saturday movies; to be home for dinner so we could all be together and share our daily adventures; how to take care of ourselves and when things go South….. how to come together as a family and let the past be just that…….. The past!
If I can pass just part of those things on to the people that are in my life I will feel blessed. With all life’s ups and downs mom, we all made it. I’m sad that you will no longer be a physical part of my life but you will always be there through the lessons I have learned.
Grandma, you will be greatly missed by your loving family and friends. Thank you for teaching my dad how to be wonderful, He is a great father to have. I know you are in a better place now, looking down on us, and I pray you are happy with the life you left behind. We love you Grandma!
Lorraine will be missed by so many loved ones. She did a great job raising her children. I will always remember Lorraine through her smile. Always smiling. This may be a very difficult time in your lives right now, but the lives she touched will go on forever. It was nice seeing everybody yesterday. Lorraine would have been pleased to see the gathering. God Bless. (Junes daughter) Cindy Canfield