Monday, May 5, 2008

Who is my hero?

This week Kitten is our wonderful host and this is her assignment... Tell me about the Super Hero in your life. Not from TV, but anyone that has been or is in your life that you have really looked up to or has made a impact on your life. It can one or many. You can share pictures if you like. Just have fun with it.

Who is my hero?

OK, this may sound a little weird, but my hero is my mother. I have not spoken to my mother in 20+ years. I guess a more accurate statement would be that she has not spoken to me in 20+ years.

She is still my hero.

I learned from my mother how to shop. This sounds frivolous, but I am talking about shopping for food and clothes. There were certain food items that, in my mother’s mind, would not be purchased if their price got above a set amount. These were not luxuries but things like mayonnaise. If Best Foods got above $.39, we did without. I learned, when shopping for clothes, to always buy the very best that you could afford and to buy classic styles.

I learned from my mother how to be a friend. When I was in 1st or 2nd grade, our neighbor’s husband was hurt in a construction accident. He underwent numerous brain surgeries and was left less than whole. Our neighbor, Honey, kept her husband at home. She, who had never worked, went back to college, got her LVN and went to work to support the family and care for her husband. She did not do this alone. My mother went with her. They graduated together, worked together, and retired together. Honey has since died. Her husband died when I was 19.

I learned from my mother how to be faithful to my religion. My mother never missed Mass. She went every Sunday, even if she could not, because of work, go with the family. She attended Church on every Holy Day. She dragged us kids whether we wanted to go or not. She worked, in part, so that she and Dad could afford to send my brother and me to parochial schools. She observed those domestic rites of the Church that are slowly coming back - weekly family rosaries, holy water at home, and religious art. There is not a single doubt in my mind that, when I left the Church, the rosaries and novenas started and that she prays for me still. And, yes, I found my way back.

I learned from my mother how to be polite and gracious. I learned that there are certain responses that are required to certain situations. This is a gift not to be taken lightly. Good manners have stood me in good stead through some very tumultuous times. Yes, ma’am, they have.

I learned from my mother how to honor a vow. My parents were married in 1940 and stayed that way until my father’s death in February of 1999. Theirs was not a happy marriage- at least not during the 18 years that I was at home. My father, God rest his soul, was a chain-smoking alcoholic who never missed either a day of work or a chance to belittle his younger children. I understand from my older siblings that he was different when they were young. I will never know. My mother, though, stayed. She did not allow us to show disrespect for our father in his house. She cooked for him, she cleaned for him, and she did everything that a “good wife” was supposed to do for him. She honored the commitment that she had made, as a young and hopeful bride, to her husband and to God.

The most important thing that I learned from my mother is how to be a grandmother. My daughter would not hesitate to tell you that my mother is her favorite grandmother. This is due, in huge part, to the fact that my mother loves my children unconditionally, totally, and without end. The same mother who strove to put me into the proper mold allowed my child’s imagination to run rampant. The same mother who never kissed me cuddled my children even after they were “too old”. The same mother who would not allow me to wear makeup until I was 16 bought my daughters eye makeup when they were 12 and, yes, I took it back. The same mother who made me feel less than adequate has nurtured in my children the absolute knowledge that they are the most important things in her world.

I learned from my mother how to have the courage of one’s convictions. Regardless of why she disowned me, she has done a banner job of it. I learned from my mother to never, ever, do this to one of my children.


Anonymous said...

{{{Sandy}}} My heart breaks to hear your words. My relationship with my mother is intact, but...difficult. She's hard to love, but I do it anyway. I, too, have set my goals based on my own experience. I consider myself, my kids and my grandbabies blessed.

Hugs from me...Kim

Crown Princess said...

Your mom is a wonderful, intelligent, noble, classic, elgant woman, even if her methods are jacked, i know she loves you. we are ALL blessed to know her.

Karmyn R said...

You learned a lot from your mother - but I think you also learned a most important lesson from her - about what NOT to do.

I wish and hope that your mother reads this post and remembers what a truly wonderful daughter she has.

nikki said...

"I learned from my mother how to have the courage of one’s convictions. Regardless of why she disowned me, she has done a banner job of it. I learned from my mother to never, ever, do this to one of my children."

I think you said it all. Great job Sandy.

ChrisB said...

Sandy this is a very moving post. I would also reiterate what Karmyn has already said.

Jettie said...


storyteller said...

I’m saddened to learn of your ‘estrangement’ however reading about lessons you learned from your mom reminds me of lessons I learned my own. She died in 1989 and I wrote about her back on January 7th at Sacred Ruminations, but today I’m sharing about my brother at Small Reflections.
Hugs and blessings,

Sayre said...

I'm sorry you and your mother had a falling out. She had a huge impact on how you turned out - in a good way. But it seems that perhaps she was a bit rigid as well, especially when it came to you. I'm glad she is at least able to unbend enough to love your children well.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Wow, that was such a brave and moving post. I hope your mum reads it one day. And I'm with Karmyn R too.

laurie said...

what a wonderful and generous post.

jennifer said...

This may be the most heart wrenching thing that I have read all day. You are an amazing soul. I could learn a lot about life, honor, and respect from you. Be blessed.


Alison said...

sounds like your mom has taught you many lessons..the last one being the most important one!!

Junebug said...

I have been gone all day and am just now able to read some blogs. I don't know if I will be able to continue if they are all going to be so moving. I loved your post. My mother taught me so many frugal things but I haven't done well following that advice. I could probably have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars if I were as frugal as she is. She grew up during WWII and depression and food stamps. It will have a lasting effect on you!

kitten said...

((((Hugs)))))) I honestly understand. I hope you get the chance I did with my dad. To make mends.
I don't know all of situation. But let me share something with you.
My dad I had been on outs for years, 3 years before he passed, he came close to dieing. He had 6 hours, his body was shutting down. While I was in the room his bells started going off. I screamed, "God Please! Just let me know if my daddy loves me and that he is right with you!" They pulled me out of his room. 20 minutes later they came and told me he was a wake. I walk to his bed and the 1st words he saidwas, " Baby I love you and I'm where God wants me to be" I left his room ready to accept him dieing. But he didn't. He lived 3 more years. During that time he and I made mends and he made a difference in many lives by doing God's work. This came from a man who drank everyday of my life, till the last 3 years.
I hope I don't hurt you by sharing this with, but I just felt like I needed to.
Even if you don't get the mends, at least you can ask God to guide you and lead you!

Pamela said...

I was blessed -- my mom was loving as well as all those other things. However, she didn't go back to school and I'm sure she would have enjoyed studying. She was pretty much self taught.

Tiger Lamb Girl said...

*wiping a tear away*

Sandy, is the story of your mother disowning you, in your archives?

It's lovely you can still see beauty amongst things...xo

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

Wow, it says a lot about you as a person that your mother is still your hero despite everything.

Robinella said...

Your story with your mother breaks my heart everytime you write about it. And I applaud your attitude.

I don't know if I told you, but BN's Dad and his Father had a rift when BN was 19 and they never spoke to each other again and they never will. BN's grandfather died a few years ago and we found out two years after it happened!

Even though I faithfully sent cards with family info and pictures to a grandfather I never met, he never once inquired about his grandson. All because of an issue with his own son. The grandkids and greatgrandkids suffered from it.

A sad loss of time and family. Glad to hear your Mother treats your kids so well. Hope you two work it out before it is too late.


Christine said...

It's good to see you back! We missed you!

This is just one thing I don't understand, having three daughters myself, I couldn't imagine not talking to them, a day or week maybe, but not years.

I am sorry about the relationship between you and your mother. It does sound like you learned a lot from her. I hope one day she does read this and that it brings tears to her eyes, knowing that so much time was lost with you and how wonderful of a relationship you two can have.

Sorry, it just makes me sad, Sandy, because I know what a wonderful friend and person you truly are.


IamwhoIam said...

It sounds as if you learn your lesson well, but some seemed a little harsh. And that you choose you Mother as your Hero speaks volumns

bichonpawz said...

Oh Sandy, I hope one day that you and your mom will be able to make amends somehow. I very moving tribute to your mother. Blessings to you.

Megnificent said...

Wow. Very moving. I'm so saddened by the way your relationship with your mother has turned out, but at the same've learned some invaluable lessons. You seem to be a fantastic mother and I know you're an irreplaceable grandmother, so you've taken what was done to you and turned it into something very positive. Good for you.

swampy said...

I just wish my mother was alive so we could talk...even though there were times when she wasn't too happy with me.

Just flew by to remind you about Karmyn's Baby Shower Friday.

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