Being a daughter and a mother makes me feel like the fluffy stuff in an Oreo. I've written lots about my kids and some about the frustrations I experience being the daughter of my mother. It wasn't always frustrating. I grew up intensely proud of her. I'm not sure she knows that.
I had the only single mom I knew for most of my life. No one else had a parent who died. No one else had just a mom. Certainly no one had a mom like mine.
Before my mother was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, she was a force to be reckoned with. She left home when she was young - Allentown, PA didn't hold much of a future for her and she didn't want to be married off to someone and stay there for the rest of her life. So she didn't. She took correspondence courses to learn about the airline industry. Then she lied to her parents and told them she had a job in New York City and off she went. But she didn't have a job. She went to the airline that had promised her a job but when they found out she was under age 21, the offer was rescinded. Eventually American Airlines gave her a chance. She stayed at the Y until she met the roommates who almost 60 years later remain her friends. She worked her way up, becoming the first female manager on the ticket counter. The stories she used to tell me about her travels, the NYC parties, the men she dated - I thought she was a cool mom.
My brother went away to college when I was 9. That left a lot of years for just us to do fun things. We used to go to NYC for the weekend, often at Christmas. She took me to Broadway shows. We went to Texas for the weekend because that's what she wanted to do. She let me go into the city (Philly) alone (well, with a friend) from the age of 10 on. She taught me to be smart. And it worked. I have no fear of cities. In fact, I love them. I love doing things with my kids. I suck at house keeping and most domestic things - but I rock at having fun. That is a learned behavior.
I have so many memories about my mom. I remember her walking so fast on the beach and I just dawdled behind her, looking at the shells. I remember many antique shows, yard sales, treasure seeking adventures. I miss those days. I miss having a mom who I knew would take care of me. Now I take care of her. But it's okay. She taught me well.