Marjorie Writes…

Everyday Musings of an Extraordinary Woman

Archive for the tag “#memories”

Memories of Mom

Scrolling on Facebook way too early this morning, I saw a post by a dear friend of my late aunt’s, who is also my friend now. It was about a book she had read, with a summary of the book and an explanation of what it meant to her, how it moved her, and what message it left her with.

Now, I am a voracious reader – I love books and reading. I can get lost in a book for hours and lose track of my present circumstances. I have always been able to lose myself in books, which is one of the things I love about them. I’m a naturally curious person who loves learning about everything, and books allow me a view into different places, minds, and situations. Plus there’s that whole escape aspect.

Anyhow, in reading her post, it made me think of her friend, my aunt. She was always reading, and once I was an adult we would often talk about books and my much too infrequent visits to her house (I lived in another state) would often entail a trip into her closet to borrow a handful of books she’d recommended. Now, I have a lot of friends who love to read, and I see regular postings on Facebook with book reviews, recommendations, or commentary on books. Why this particular post brought with it so many memories, I have no clue, but I am glad.

The memories took me to memories of my mother, who passed away when I was 18. She also loved reading. In fact, I clearly remember going to the library with her. We went often, but my best memory was when I was old enough to get my own library card and I got to pick out even more books than usual and lug them home to get lost in. We also had a huge wall of books in the living room in the built in shelves that ran floor to ceiling against one long wall.

My godmother also shared this love of reading, and as an adult for a number of years I was fortunate enough to live in the same state as her. In fact, she had a summer home in the town I lived in, and again, my visits often resulted in me going home with armfuls of books.

As often do, the memories trailed along to other things my mom loved to do. When her nose wasn’t buried in a book, her hands were often full of whatever she was knitting, crocheting, embroidering, or whatever needlepoint canvas she was working on. She always had multiple projects going. I tried many of those needle crafts over the years, and they never stuck, but at least the skills stayed with me. I now love to knit, and I find that I feel her with me while I’m doing so. The friends I had when I was learning to knit, in my knitting group, would often tease me about being able to read while I was knitting (as long as it was a simple pattern, that didn’t require my full attention). And my stitches have always been very even, which I credit my mother with.

So I decided, as it turned out that I had an unexpectedly quiet, unscheduled day ahead, I will pay homage to the memory of my wonderful mother, reading and knitting. The only thing that would make it more like her would be if I found an Astros game on tv and watched that while knitting. Although, truth be told, she just loved baseball, so she would often watch whatever game she could find on tv, and back then, it was usually the hometeam (Astros), the Cubs or the Braves, as with cable back then you got the Chicago and Atlanta stations.

These beautiful memories also made me realize just how much of my mom I have in me. And that is an amazing gift.

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Memories

Recently, two old friends posted pictures of me on Facebook from my senior year of high school. And they were two friends who were friends with each other, and I actually met one through the other. Both have been very important in the story of me.me 17This was the first picture. I don’t know what we were doing or where we were. I do know that the picture, while not inspiring memories of one specific event, evoked a plethora of memories last night and today, along with the realization that my daughter looks so much more like me than I realized. And that I wished I had appreciated the head of hair I was blessed with when I was younger!

The other picture, posted today, brought back even more memories, partially inspired by the surroundings:

meat17Now I don’t know what kind of statues the military has, but I won’t name the location of the barracks that was taken in, nor whose room it was. I’m pretty sure that after 25 or so years, the statute of limitations has run out on the fact that I was drinking at 17 there.  I don’t think I drank all of the beers on that desk, though. But I won’t swear to it either. Nor can I say I can remember exactly which night that was, as it wasn’t the only evening spent there.

It’s amazing the memories that can be brought up by seeing a picture of yourself from so many years ago. Specifically, a casual, non-posed one where you are relaxed and enjoying life.

I do know that year was a very important one for me, not only because it was my senior year of high school. It was an incredible year, which I was fortunate enough to recognize shortly thereafter. I was young, confident, happy. In so many ways I was so very innocent, even though if you’d asked me then, I would never have agreed with you. But knowing what I know now about life and the world in general, I was so very, blissfully innocent, and happy.

Funny, it just hit me that I know I had my share of teen angst that year, as we have all had. Yet when I look back, I don’t remember it unless I think really hard, and then it’s just so softened. At the time I’m sure it was more serious to me.

Old friends, good friends, pictures and memories. Keep them all close to your heart and you’ll always find a reason to smile.

Live, Love, Laugh…it makes it all worthwhile!

Stepmom

I just watched Stepmom. I shouldn’t have turned it on when I was flipping channels. But it’s a beautiful movie. Maybe I needed a good cry.

For those who don’t remember the movie, or haven’t seen it, it came out in the 1998, starring Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts. Sarandon played a divorced mother of two, and Roberts was her ex-husband’s young girlfriend/fiance. Of course, they didn’t get along in the beginning. But Sarandon was harboring a secret from her ex and her kids – she was fighting cancer. Eventually, it would come out and they would grow close.

The first time I saw the movie was with my Stepmom, Eileen. She and my father had come down to Houston to visit, and while he was out playing poker with his friends, we decided to go to the movies. We went to see You’ve Got Mail, and afterward snuck into another movie, Stepmom (her idea, not mine, I would never have done that not have suggested to her that we do that. (See my halo?) We didn’t know what it was about, and missed the beginning.

As we were sitting there in the dark theater and caught up with what was happening on-screen, we realized that the situation in the movie hit too close to home and it was probably as uncomfortable for her as it was for me. Of course, not wanting to make her feel more uncomfortable, I was trying to stifle my tears, which were definitely flowing.

Mind you, she wasn’t younger than my father and she had come into his life after we lost my mom. However, it was still close enough to home since my mom had died of cancer 9 years before.

Watching the movie again tonight, this time with kids of my own, touched me on different levels. I pray my kids never have to go through what I did – I fully plan to live forever. Grin. Ok, while I know I can’t shield them from the pain of losing me forever, I mean I hope they won’t have to deal with that loss until they are grown with kids of their own, who are also grown. Maybe even grandkids of their own. Great-grandkids would probably be stretching it.

Anyhow, in the movie Sarandon is talking with her daughter (middle-school age, again, hitting close to home tonight) about her not being around in the future. She told the girl that she would always be with her in her mind, that that was how people stayed around, when she graduated, she would be there, when she got married, she would be there, when she had her babies, she would be there. And I found myself talking to my mom. You WERE there when I graduated (in my case, from college, as I was lucky enough to have her until the end of my freshman year of college). You WERE there when I got married. You WERE there when I had my babies. Even though I so desperately wished she had been there physically with me, I had felt her with me at all of those times.

I had almost forgotten the memory of watching that movie with my stepmom. We lost her 2 short years later. That was just a random day in our brief history, not one of the bigger ones which come to mind when I think of her.

If it wasn’t so late, I might have a drink in her memory. She liked white Russians. Too bad I don’t have any kaluah.

Live, love, laugh…it’s what makes it worthwhile!

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