“Over the hills and far away…”
It’s an odd song to think of, yet it seems to fit. I know you used to pine for the hills of Tennessee. As a child, you travelled there every summer with your parents, to visit cousins with double-barrelled names like Betty Lou, and John D. And aunties like the one who used to talk about being “down in the piney”, which I took to mean the woods.
Aunt May died so long ago, it’s far too late to ask her.
Or you, of course.
Today, I took these to the PDSA. I like to think you’d approve:
I don’t remember you wearing any of these, Mom, and couldn’t see any point in them taking up space in my knicker drawer.
If I need physical things to remember you by, there’s always this chap. Pretty sure I was there when you found him amongst your mum’s things, after Grandmother’s death:
Remember that trip we took to an Ohio shopping centre, where Otto Steiff identified your bear as a “Teddy Baby”, then autographed one of its paws? I don’t know who was more delighted: Otto, at seeing Teddy, or you, at meeting Otto.
Speaking as I was a few minutes ago about my knicker drawer, I’m pleased to say that my speculative children decided to buy me some pretty-but-practical new pants from Marks & Sparks. I considered getting you some flowers – to be displayed at my house, on account of slight problems with distance, and death – but decided to buy you a chocolate chip cookie, instead.
So, Mom. Here I am, your not-so-dutiful daughter: fat, fifty(ish), and mad. You loved words, so you’ll know that “mad” can be taken at least two ways, and that I more than qualify for both.
My report card – which, if I actually still received one, you would almost certainly keep – would probably read: “Could do better”. I’d also get a A+ in swearing, though I have to say my use of scissors and paste has improved considerably since Kindergarten.
For starters, I no longer eat the paste.
So Happy Mothering Sunday, Mom. You kicked this blog off, and have been a reoccurring character ever since.
And what a character, eh?
To the woman with all the best lines,
Ps: Okay if I eat that cookie for you?