Thursday, February 11, 2016

Kate Morton and My Mom

Well, hello there!

This space is getting a bit dusty from lack of use. But, I'm thankful that it is available when I take the time to use it.

Isn't that a great photo! That's my mom in the foreground. When she was 19. Come to find out, my mom was a roller derby queen. (which makes me think of that movie with Drew Barrymore when they cheer "We're number 2! We're number 2!" Anyway...)

My parents are packing up their house which involves sorting through a lot of stuff and a lot of memories. Some of which (both stuff and memories) is trickling down to us kids.

You know, I have a really hard time picturing my mom as a roller derby queen. The photograph is only partially helping with my disbelief. I picture my mom as the mom of 9 kids. As a mom, as a wife, as a friend. I picture her running a house, and running the cafeteria at her local Sam's Club. I picture her as a life guard, swimmer and swim lessons teacher. I picture her as a seamstress. I picture her as a woman who has done a lot of cross stitch.

I don't picture her in her younger "wilder" days. The days of nylons and knee socks, short shorts and roller skates. 

While there is nothing wrong with my mom's identities as wife, mother, etc. etc., it is kind of fun seeing her as she was before the responsibilities and sacrifices of wife and mother took over.

I've been binging on Kate Morton's books the past couple of weeks. What can I say? She is a great author and she weaves amazing mysterious tales. 

A thread that has been in both of the novels I've completed so far, is the thread of moms. 

Each protagonist has learned things about their mom's past that they must reconcile with the mom they knew, observed and loved. And that before "mom" woman was quite different from the mom of their memory.


I don't think my mom is hiding any deep, dark secrets. Not at all. But, reading these stories and seeing this picture, definitely made me realize that there is a lot to my mom that I don't know. That I really want to know before it gets too late.

I know some things. I know how she met my dad. I know that she was in a sorority. I know that she was raised Catholic, and she used to have to wear her dad's hankies on her head if she forgot her head covering. I know she got her appendix removed after Halloween one year. I know how she got saved. 

But there is so much I don't know.

And time is getting rather short to find out more of her story.

I know that I want to put the time in to hear her story before it is too late. 

Her story is important. It's important for its intrinsic value as being about her and her life. Each part of her story-who she is, what she did-it is a building block to who mom is today. Her story is important as it is part of my story, and my kids' story. 

In just over a week, I will be on a cruise with my mom. It's a precious gift, a precious opportunity. It is one more chance to listen. One more chance to say, "I see you-now and as you were. I'm grateful you are my mom. I'm proud of you. I admire you. I love you."

Anyway, now I'm getting a bit weepy....=) 

Happy Thursday!