Oct 27, 2011

My Mom Was Like a Mother to Me

Posted by Tonia at Thursday, October 27, 2011
By Tonia
"When your mother asks, 'Do you want a piece of advice?' it is a mere formality. It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no. You're going to get it anyway." – Erma Bombeck

Estrofests is a blog written by my two daughters and me. But there is another generation of Estrovite women – my mother. Let me tell you about her.

My mother was always cleaning. I used to try to tell her that vacuuming weakened the carpet fibers but she didn’t believe me. She not only cleaned at her house, she cleaned at my house. (They say housework can't kill you, but I don’t like to take any chances.) Sometimes she would put something away while I was still using it. If I tried to take the rag/mop/vacuum out of her hand, she would just start organizing something in my cupboards. It was embarrassing when people came over and thought she was my cleaning lady.

Crossword puzzles were like crack cocaine for my mother. I guess it’s what she used to get all that cleaning done. God help you if you got between her and the morning paper’s crossword. Then there would really be cross words!
My mother also loved to talk. Sometimes, if I was on the phone with her, I could lay down the receiver and take the dogs for a walk and she would still be talking when I got back. If she ran out of real things to talk about she would tell me about a TV show she had watched. I can tell you all about Dancing with the Stars and I’ve never even watched the show.
For Christmas and birthdays she would make things with our names on them – hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts. Someone needed to tell her that my sister and I were in our 50s now and didn’t need our clothing labeled any more. None of us (kids or grandkids) wanted to wear those things. We would rather wear dirty clothes or go naked than wear them. On the rare occasion when we HAD to wear one and then washed it, the letters would fall off and we ended up with something like this:

Tonia = Ton 
Anna = na
Rachel = ache
As you might guess, she was also addicted to the glue gun. Waaaaay too much DIY TV. Frankly, I think we need stricter glue gun laws. You know, like background checks and 5-day waiting periods on purchases. Some people, like my mother, just can’t control themselves. We suggested Glue Guns Anonymous to her but you know how addicts are. Denial.
My mother really did drive me crazy much of the time. But two years ago this week she passed away. She took care of me at the beginning of my life and I had the privilege of taking care of her at the end of hers. I had the bigger diapers to change but I also have the bigger shoes to fill.
I miss her every day. Her playful spirit, her generosity, her support for all of my endeavors, her tolerant amusement of my shenanigans, her passion and sacrifices for her family ….. and, yes, I even miss those damn sweatshirts with my name on them.
Love you, Mom. Always will.

Doris Anne Ryan Caselman 1928-2009


MsCheeVS on October 27, 2011 at 10:59 PM said...

I miss mom more than anything.....(speaking as writers sister). Tearing up. But when it comes to housecleaning I didnt inherit her house cleaning skills however.

In fact I once read this anonymous writing thats states exactly how i feel about housework. (Since I'm such a good person ....which we also got from our Mom...lol):

1. I don't do windows because...
I love birds and don't want one to run into a clean window and get hurt.
(I am compassionate)

2. I don't wax floors because...
I am terrified a guest will slip, hurt themselves, I'll feel terrible and they may sue me.
(I am careful and poor)

3. I don't mind the dust bunnies because...
they are very good company, I have named most of them, and they agree with everything I say.
(I am imaginative)

4. I don't disturb cobwebs because I want every creature to have a home of their own.
(I am kind)

5. I don't Spring Clean because...
I love all the seasons and don't want the others to get jealous.
(I am fair minded)

6. I don't plant a garden because...
I don't want to get in God's way, he is an excellent designer.
(I am courteous)

7. I don't put things away because...
my family will never be able to find them again.
(I am considerate)

8. I don't do gourmet meals when I entertain because...
I don't want my guests to stress out over what to make when they invite me over for dinner.
(I am thoughtful)

9. I don't iron because... I choose to believe them when they say "Permanent Press".
(I am trusting)

10. I don't stress much on anything because...
"A-Type" personalities die young and I want to stick around and become a .

. . . .wrinkled up crusty ol' woman!!

growingmygirls on October 28, 2011 at 6:49 AM said...

Tonia -- this is beautiful! What a tough anniversary! Love the photos, love the stories, a wonderful tribute.

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