I remember my Mom very well – she has been dead many years now, but she is on my mind all morning today. Mom never said a cross word to me over my entire life, except for the one time she apologized for on her death bed. I didn’t remember it, still don’t, but she remembered the day more than 55 years earlier. The day, the hour, the day of the week, what she said and what she regretted saying. It was essentially nothing. My Mom had an incredible memory for dates and details and she was very sensitive to what others said to her. I think she was able to recall anything she had ever seen or heard.
My Mom was incredably smart – skipped 2 grades in school, but then ran away to marry at 16, so she never graduated.
Married my dad and then waited 2 years to have their first child while the family she grew up in seethed. Mom and Dad celebrated their 50th anniversary the year before she was diagnosed with lung cancer. She had a wonderful memory. She is a wonderful memory. Mom loved to play TV game shows that involved trivia and could come up with the correct answer every time. Every time. Would shout it out in glee. Always right. I was always proud of her and still am, even more so.
She would always cite things I or others said or did by tying them together with occasions and exact dates and the context of who was there, what was going on and what she thought about it, often 20 years or more later. Things like “we had just finished dinner and Arthur Godfrey was on and the Chunns had come by just two days before and your Dad said ….. and you said ….”. She could never believe I didn’t remember the conversation and would keep piling on facts to remind me.
Mom loved crossword puzzles, and novels, particulary books with historical context or even prehistoric context. She was quite an artist. She painted beautiful oil paintings, pencil sketches, did mosaics, and wall hangings, such as a wood sailboat with sails of thread, a dirt dauber’s nest mounted on a plaque, hand made nails from old houses mounted and framed, Mosaic of a bug on a leaf, stained glass hangings. She loved 3 dimensional things. All these things are now prized by my children and hanging in prominent places in their own homes to be admired by all. She was Mom or Mother to me all my life, Mama Dan to my children and grandchildren, Friend, Neighbor to many and Gladys to the census taker and on her headstone. Her faithful husband was Dad, Daddy, to me and Daddy Dan to his grand children and their children.
Mom was special. Always ready to help, love and encourgage anyone that came within her gaze. She is indeed special. Dad had a vision of her a few weeks after she died. He saw her in their back yard, and then she waved, walked away into the edge of the woods. He said the ground and leaves were sparkling “like when you have a solar eclipse, and the sun is reduced to a small edge and then the sun filtering through the leaves makes weird sparkling shapes on the ground, brief images of the sun like through pinholes.
I had my own vision of Mom years later. She came flying, almost swimming , toward me out of a distant cloud on the horizon as I was thinking of her. But as she rapidly approached, I could see she was wearing only a wide ribbon-like fabric that trailed over her bosom and along her body trailing in the distance. I was afraid I was going to see her uncovered and closed my eyes, and then she was gone. I’ve regretted losing that moment of meeting her again. We will meet again. I’ve been promised. I love her and miss her.