The first thing I love about my mother is she forgives. Because it is of primary importance, I place this at the head of the list. If my mother did not forgive, she and I would have no relationship and then I would not be able to talk about her many wonderful attributes. But you see, the thing is I gave her lots of practice as a teen and so she got good at it. Through the years she has had even more practice so that now she is an expert. Expert forgivers are really easy to love.
The second thing I love about my mother is she is organized. Please understand this does not mean my mother is a super organizer type. She is not. My mother’s brand of organizing is wholly natural. From some inner orderliness it just sort of flows out from her. When something needs doing, she does it right then. I have never known her to put off today’s work for tomorrow. Not only that, while she is doing whatever it is needs doing, she hums. Could a person who hums while arranging be anything less than lovable?
The third thing I love about my mother is she is funny. She does not have to try; it just happens. Like that day at Wal-Mart; she was not trying. While she minded the cart, I flipped through bras. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash-by in the girdle lane, a few seconds later another in slips. The second flash was yelling my name in Mother’s voice. It nearly gave me liver failure. I had to chase her down three aisles just to answer my cell phone. I had left it in my purse in the cart.
Mother’s discomfort with high tech has produced quite a few humorous incidents such as this, but in my opinion have made her even more endearing. The best part is she can always laugh at herself.
The fourth thing I love about my mother is she is hard of hearing. Believe it or not audio challenges can be a blessing. With Mother and me it keeps our conversation far from boring. Anyone can ask the same old questions, get the same old answers: ‘how are you feeling today; fine.’ But how about this for originality?
“How are you feeling today, Mother?”
“Not at all, dear. As a girl I hated peeling potatoes. I said when I grew up I would never peel another. Well, of course raising a family I had no choice in the matter. Peeling potatoes came with the territory. But not now. For the first time in my life I can do what I want to, when I want to.”
See what I mean? New every day.
The fifth thing I love about my mother is she is generous. Having eked through the Great Depression of the thirties, Mother knows how to wring a penny ‘til it whinnies. She pays her rent, her insurance, telephone and newspaper bills. Several times a year she buys a few new blouses and slacks. She calls it a luxury having her hair done once a week on Thursday. But when it comes to her kids, Mother is wisely extravagant. What do I mean by wisely? I mean she is not foolish: she is no pushover. A legitimate need in the family, however, will see her writing out a figure that would take your breath away. Who could help loving a mother like that?
The sixth thing I love about my mother is she likes to look pretty. Her friends at the senior apartments where she lives tell me she is coordinated even at breakfast. The earbobs and bracelet may have been around a while but color will always compliment outfit. She puts on her face, as she calls it, when she gets up, and she takes a lot of trouble with her hair. She likes her purse and shoes to match. All this even those times when there is no one else around to see.
The seventh thing I love about my mother is she makes the hard stuff seem easy. Just being ninety-four is hard stuff. You may dispute this. You have my permission… but only after you have lived nearly a century with her incredible good grace.
I love that my mother makes ninety-four seem like the easiest thing in the world.
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