People Are Who They Are!

A Memorial to My Mom

I was reading an old post of Dancing Bear's this morning about sayings his mom had. It was great and it got me thinking about a saying my mom used. This is funny and sad at the same time so bear with me.

At one point in her life, mom had five of us running around the house that she tried to wrangle alone. No dad in the house to help her. She didn't whip anyone very often, but when she did she meant business. I think I only had two whippings from her ever. I knew from those two that I didn't want any more so I tried very hard to be the "good kid". I distinctly remember as she would start hitting you with the switch, which by the way, hurt like hell, she would start talking to you while she did it. "I've told you a hundred times (whack whack whack) not to do that anymore (whack whack whack) and I didn't want to do this (whack whack whack) and I want you to know (whack whack whack) that this hurts me worse than it hurts you (whack whack whack)!"

Are you kidding me? You just beat the crap out of me and you really want me to believe it hurts you worse than it hurts me? No freaking way!

As we all got grown and would sit around the dinner table talking, we would laugh about that and she always stood her ground. She told us that she only ever had one whipping in her life and she had not intended to whip us, but we were such little hellions that she had to do something. She was right. We were all little hellions and we needed way more whippings than we got. We all adored her and agreed that she should probably have whipped us every morning just because we got out of bed or something.

I was in my late 30's when mom was diagnosed with cancer. Mom had stopped going to the doctor for anything when my youngest sister was born which meant she hadn't been to one in almost 30 years at that point. She was afraid of them. She never went much before that other than to give birth. She had all sorts of home remedies for everything.

After being in and out of the hospital with the cancer, she had decided that she wasn't going back. She came home to die but at that point she was still coherent, still mom. I was kind of the "nurse" of the family so I had to learn to do the things that needed to be done for her in order for her to stay at home. One of them was to give her blood thinner shots in the stomach. The needles were preset so all you had to do was open it up, pop the cap off of the needle, and give her the shot. Not a big deal, right? Wrong! Mother was like a child with this. I generally stayed with her all night and then went home in the mornings to sleep. However, even though my sister and my aunt had learned to give her the shots, she had decided that I did it with the least amount of pain, so it was my job. This meant that I went home for a few hours and had to be back midday to give her the shot. Ok, that's fine, I'll get up, run over and give her her shot and get back home. Not that simple. I would get there and she would have fifteen reasons why I needed to wait another minute.

"Mother, you are supposed to get this shot at a certain time every day and it's getting way past that time," I would say. "Well, I just need to do this" or "I just need to do that," she would tell me. After an hour or so of this on a daily basis I would finally get her "wrangled" to the couch. She would take one of the small pillows from the couch and put it over her face so she wouldn't see it coming. She would look so much like a child I would get tickled and start laughing and then she would get tickled and I would pop the shot in quick while she was laughing. I know it hurt and she would be laughing and then say "Dammit, that hurts." and when she would take the pillow away she would have tears streaming down her cheeks. I would wipe her tears and hug her real tight and tell her how sorry I was.

One day when I went to do it, she was in a bad mood and knowing the shot was coming made her even worse. She was really being ugly to me about it. I stood over her with the needle ready, and when she put her pillow over her face, my tears started and I said "Mom, I just want you to know that having to do this hurts me worse than it hurts you." I popped the shot in. I didn't get the usual "Dammit, that hurts." When she let the pillow down, she was laughing and crying so hard she could hardly catch her breath. We hugged and cried hard that day.

I think because I was always kind of the "tough girl" personality that she had thought it didn't bother me to give her those shots, just like I had thought as a child that it didn't really hurt her to whip me. When I used her own line on her that day, she understood that it really did hurt me as bad as it hurt her, and I used the line because I realized that it really had hurt her to whip us. From then on, the shot ordeal went much smoother. It was a mutual "hurt" session for us and we worked at it together.

I know I talk about my mom a lot here. She's been gone almost thirteen years and there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about her. She was truly my best friend and I was horribly traumatized by the way she died. Writing about it helps a lot, so thank you all so much for reading my posts about her. I hope if your mother is still alive that you hug her every chance you get and think about all the things she did for you to get you to where you are today. On this Memorial Day, I memorialize my mother, who fought many long battles to raise five children on her own.

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28 responses

  1. Great post. I love reading when others can tell these kind of stories from their families!

    May 31, 2010 at 10:55 am

  2. [c’est top]

    May 31, 2010 at 11:02 am

  3. Thank you so much Irony. I get a lot out of being able to tell these stories but I don't want people to think that I am sad all the time because I'm really not. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to read it.

    May 31, 2010 at 11:32 am

  4. Well I haven't been around that long yet, but this one didn't read like you were sad. Not to me anyway. More a fond walk down memory lane.

    May 31, 2010 at 11:35 am

  5. Thank you Apolline. I haven't stopped my own tears from writing it yet. It's a story that makes me both laugh and cry as I remember it like it was yesterday. Many loves and hugs to you too. It is so nice to have the understanding friends I have made here.

    May 31, 2010 at 11:35 am

  6. Good, because, though I do want to bring out emotions when I write, (otherwise, why bother), I don't want to make people sad or make them think that I am always sad. I was very sad for many years and now it is a very fond walk down memory lane that I like to share. Thank you for seeing it that way. After you begin to heal from traumas like this you can see things from a different perspective. My mother was a very strong woman who endured a lot of pain through her life. Her illness came about without any warning to us even though she had had the cancer for many many years. She never complained or went to the doctor for anything, so we had no idea she was sick until four months before she died. Watching her die at home and being there through almost every minute of it was traumatizing. I couldn't talk about it at all for a long time without falling into a deep depression again. Now, even though it hurts, I have been able to see more of the good things and see past the trauma and have learned that the more I talk about it, the better I feel.

    May 31, 2010 at 11:56 am

  7. What a lovely post Lady. I am too far away from my mother and feel that I don't see her enough when I do get home. I had to have those blood thinning injections for over 2 months after my foot surgery when I couldn't move anywhere. I had to give them to myself – you should've seen the number of bruises I gave myself as I was learning! I always ate dinner first as it made me think that the distension was protecting everything important from my jabs! I always made the manservant leave the room too because he made me nervous. LOL – it was a funny time.

    May 31, 2010 at 3:40 pm

  8. Writing is such great therapy and you have such a way with words.
    I'm sure your mom really appreciated all your efforts even when they hurt. I can tell she was a very special lady.

    May 31, 2010 at 6:52 pm

  9. Thanks Emjay. When they taught us to do the shots they said pinch up the place between your fingers where you are going to give the shot and then pop it into the skin so you break the skin fast because the needle breaking the skin is what hurts so bad. My sister and aunt both were so nervous about doing it that they would pinch her skin up real hard and then pop the shot too hard and they really hurt her and bruised her doing it. I saw that and figured out real quick how to do it hard enough but not too hard, so she wanted me to give all the shots. Even though I was nervous I tried not to let her see that and I'm sure that's why she thought in the beginning that I just didn't care. I can't even imagine having to give them to myself. In all honesty I've always watched my weight very close because diabetes runs in my family. I have always been afraid I would get it and have to give myself insulin shots. I feel so bad for anyone that has to do that.

    May 31, 2010 at 7:06 pm

  10. Thank you so much LBreeze. What a nice compliment! The writing has helped tremendously. Thank you very much for always reading my posts.Mom was very special in many ways and I miss her so much.

    May 31, 2010 at 7:09 pm

  11. I think this demonstrates a good learning from memory and experience (supposedly, they are two different things). Plus, I think you're very much keeping in the spirit of Memorial Day as such, and not treating it as another day off.

    May 31, 2010 at 7:52 pm

  12. Thank you jak. Thanks for reading it.

    May 31, 2010 at 8:02 pm

  13. What a wonderful heartfelt post, Ladywise!! I hope my children still think of me every day after I have been gone for 13 years. What a tribute to your mother 😉 I love your stories although it makes me sad that you had to go through her cancer death. That must have been so painful for you both!! Keep sharing. You sounds like you were a wonderful daughter!!

    May 31, 2010 at 9:02 pm

  14. Thank you Freedom. I have no doubt that your children will think about you every day for the rest of their lives. You have filled their childhoods with such happy times and great things to remember about you. I applaud your mothering skills every day as I read your posts and look at your photos. Your families happiness is obvious and I'm so happy that you share it with us.

    May 31, 2010 at 9:31 pm

  15. Great post. Thanks for sharing. Excuse me, I'm going to go hug my mom right now.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:26 pm

  16. Oh I hope you do Kimmers. We only get one mom in this life and when they are gone you sure do miss them. Thanks for reading.

    June 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm

  17. This was so heart warming and beautiful!

    June 1, 2010 at 7:43 pm

  18. Thank you so much. I love reading your posts. You have such a happy life and I'm so happy for you that you do.

    June 1, 2010 at 8:31 pm

  19. You're screen name is a nice match to your blog!! I love reading your insight and honesty! Having a happy life is our "goal"… sometimes we win, sometimes we don't! It's the norm, I suppose! The great thing about blogging, is that on those "not so happy" days you can reference all the memorable moments that take you to that happy place again! Thanks so much for sharing and communicating!! It's so intriguing to connect with and access the world's diversity in people on-line!!!

    June 1, 2010 at 8:56 pm

  20. What a nice thing to say. Thank you so much. I do love blogging. I had heard people talking about it for a long time and I kept thinking, what is that? I actually found this site by accident one night while doing some research for school. I read a bunch of posts from different people and thought, wow, I love this. It is a great way to communicate.I started using the name Ladywise many years ago when I got my first computer. I got in the chat rooms and I really enjoyed it. There were so many guys in there that were there for naughty reasons though that I came up with the name to fend them off. When I set up my profile here I thought I would bring it back. I wonder sometimes what people think about it. You never know how people interpret things. There is no arrogance intended.

    June 1, 2010 at 9:12 pm

  21. What a wonderful post! I really loved it!! Makes me miss my mom.

    June 1, 2010 at 9:39 pm

  22. What a wonderful post! A beautiful tribute to your mom, and so well-written. Thank you for sharing that.

    June 2, 2010 at 7:00 am

  23. Thank you, Ladywise. You are so kind to say that. I hope that they do!

    June 2, 2010 at 5:19 pm

  24. A very touching story. Thanks for sharing. My mom also died of cancer when I was in my mid-thirties, nevertheless the entire ordeal was still hurtful just like I was a child.

    June 6, 2010 at 9:38 am

  25. That is one time that age doesn't matter. If I had been sixty it would not have hurt any less. Thank you so much reading and commenting.

    June 6, 2010 at 11:28 am

  26. Thank you Karen. I haven't seen you around in a while. I've been gone for a couple of days myself. Are you doing alright?

    June 6, 2010 at 11:29 am

  27. Yes, I'm fine. I've just got 2 other blogs I'm maintaining so there isn't a lot of time. But I don't want to give up my vox blox because I like to keep in touch with everyone here.

    June 6, 2010 at 3:39 pm

  28. I started a profile on WordPress this morning, but didn't feel like going through and reading everything to figure it all out yet. Maybe in time. Seems like two or three blogs is an awful lot to keep up with though. I really like the "neighborhood" system in Vox. I haven't seen that on other sites.

    June 6, 2010 at 4:08 pm

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