At last … long last … we said our goodbyes to Mom last week, with a Celebration of her Life. Covid-19 forced us into a 4 month wait, but all told, it was for the best. We had a beautiful sunny day as a couple handfuls of family and friends gathered at the town park where I grew up.

One thing that I really appreciated about the day was being able to focus on Mom’s life as a whole. With dementia and then the intensity of her decline after falling and breaking her hip, all of the attention has been on the Mom of the last three years. That Mom was struggling … confused … full of up and downs … sad about not being able to control her life … riotously funny one moment … depressed the next.

Mom … the WHOLE person … was a very special, impacting human. She is deserving of recognition beyond her struggles, so this is the first of a series of posts intend to highlight Mom. It springboards from what was shared at the celebration of her life and celebrates a life well lived.

Part I:

What Mom Did Not Like

  • Raisins (Always felt like she was eating dead flies)  With that imagery, she obviously wasn’t concerned about whether or not her children ate raisins.
  • Asparagus. She said the texture was like snot. Another thing you can check off the list of things her children would not eat.
  • Dead frogs put on her kitchen table (done by a certain child of hers who was enticed by an older sibling).  She sat out in the yard, near the state of hyperventilation, until the dead, dried up frog was removed from the house and her sight. The incident ended with long a lecture on “Don’t ever bring something like that into my house again!”
  • The scent of gardenias. Funny, I don’t like them either.
  • Not doing a good job. She taught us to sweep the floor with in our bare feet … if we could still feel the grit, we weren’t done yet. Another time she scolded me for stating I had free time while working in a cafe.   “You never have free time … you dust the corners, you rewash dishes, you sweep, you FIND something to do.  If you’re getting paid, you work. If you do any less, don’t tell them you’re related to me!”
  • Mom didn’t like meanness, especially to kids or people who couldn’t defend themselves.
  • For liking things to be neat and tidy, she DID NOT like dusting every day or very often at all. “If I’m going to put this much effort into something, I like to see the difference.”
  • Wasting a good antique. My husband told the story of one of the last adventures he had with Mom. After months in a rehab facility and then a memory care facility, she started having days where she felt like coming home to visit. She insisted on having My Guy come to get her (our family’s cue that she was up to something – she usually asked for him when she was convinced the rest of us would say no to some plan). She had noticed a wooden window frame in a shed that was falling down. It had been probably been a month since she had passed by, but she did not forget about it. She made My Guy pullover the car and pull it out and drag it home. It’s in terrible shape, but she rescued it. Oh Mom!
  • She didn’t like being embarrassed. A friend, John, told a story of when they ran an antique business together at on old farmhouse. One day she dropped by when John was in charge. She came out of the kitchen with a donut that she assumed John had brought and was laughing about getting into his stash. Only … they weren’t his. A woman who was shopping had just come from the store and asked if she could leave her food inside rather than in her hot car. Mom went from being smirky about eating John’s food to bright red embarrassed about raiding this woman’s grocery bag.
  • Being interrupted while drinking a cup of coffee. It seemed that the older we got, the longer it took for her to finish a cup in her little “hidey” spot in a corner of my dad’s office.
  • Back talk
  • Being the center of attention … she wouldn’t have like this post so much … and she definitely wouldn’t have liked that by some crazy oversight, oatmeal RAISIN cookies were served at her service.

    Sorry, Mom.

Thank you for reading Rashellbud. You may also enjoy my second blog … it all about the harrowing details of adjusting to rural living after four decades of life in the greater Seattle area. Actually … it’s very laid back … like our new life. Although, I think we picked a good but crazy time to make that shift.

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Reminder: all photos are property of this blog and of Sausmus Photography. Thanks! Cheers … Shelly