Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I Can't Remember My Mother's Voice

We had these every Christmas in the 60's. So pretty

      I just saw this photo of Christmas candy on Pinterest and immediately thought of my Mother.  When I was a child my Mom almost always had a dish of this exact same kind of Christmas candy for us every year.  Not in a beautiful glass such as this, more likely in a cereal bowl.   It would have been one of the few Christmas-y things in the house. 
     That this photo of candy brought back a memory of my Mom also reminded me that she died in December. 21 years ago.  She was 72, I was 38.  I hadn't forgotten that she died in December, it was just the second thought I had upon seeing this candy.  I wondered if she had this Christmas candy that year before she passed away. Probably not.
      The last time I saw my mom was on Thanksgiving that year.  We had Thanksgiving at my sister's home in New Mexico.  I rode from Texas to New Mexico with a friend.  His car broke down on the way on a long stretch of two lane road way off the beaten path in the middle of nothing but cow pastures out in the middle of nowhere, and thus I made Thanksgiving dinner late for everyone because they had to come looking for me.  She was livid at me. This was before cell phones and I had no way to call and explain why we were late or that we were walking as fast as we could.  She was also mad at me that my kids were with their dad for Thanksgiving and I was not bringing them to see her.  And then she died about 2 weeks later, still mad at me.  I hate holidays.  
     To stop thinking about sad things I started thinking about pleasant things about my mom.  Not the easiest task.  She had the most difficult life of anyone I personally know. Truly difficult and not because of anything she had done. Her mom died when she was a child and life was a struggle from that point on.  It was like the devil said no matter what she had before her in life he was going to make it as difficult and horrible as possible, forever.  Not too long ago I was talking to my sister and remembering our Mother's funeral, actually her casket.  My sister picked it out.  It was shiny ivory painted metal, with oval things on each corner with pink roses painted in the oval thing.  I guess it had brass trim.  I told my sister that it was sad that the prettiest thing our Mother ever owned was her casket. My sister agreed that it was the prettiest thing she had ever had (and she didn't even  get to see it.)  Anyway, to stop remembering all the harsh things and sad things I tried to think of good things.  
       She made the best chocolate pie I have ever had.  She sewed beautifully and made all my clothes. She crocheted and quilted. The first time I ever slept under a blanket rather than a quilt was when I got married.  She sewed Barbie doll dresses for me.  When I moved away she wrote me letters.  I can't really remember what her handwriting was like, and I haven't saved anything she wrote but I think I might recognize her handwriting if I saw it now. Whenever I needed help she was there for me.  I know she loved me even though she never kissed me, she was not a hugger, and she never said the words "I love you."  She loved my children and she would certainly love my grandchildren to pieces.
      While I was trying to think of pleasant things it dawned on me that I can not remember what her voice sounded like.  I can not. I can barely remember what she looked like.  I have just a few photographs of her and there is only one in which she is smiling, sort of.  She didn't smile much.  I can't remember what color eyes she had.  I know they weren't blue so they must have been brown or hazel but I don't know.  How horrible is that??  My eyes are hazel.  I am going to assume her eyes were hazel too. Her hair was light brown, gray when she passed away.  I remember her hands.  She had a crooked finger, broken and never heeled correctly.  Her veins were large and very pronounced on the tops of her hands. Her knuckles were large and arthritic. I never saw polish on her nails.  Her hands were for working, not to be pampered.  I remember her arms because they were heavily scarred from terrible burns she suffered.  I remember her feet because I used to rub them for her.  She had huge bunions and corns and callouses and her toes were bent oddly.  I can not remember a time when her feet did not hurt her.  I remember she was thin.  Even in old age she didn't get fat.  I can not remember her ever laughing, I have no idea what it would have sounded like.  She did not sing. That I can not remember the color of her eyes or the sound of her voice just stuns me.  I wonder what my children will remember about me.    
    This is not meant to be a downer of a post.  Really it isn't, it just is what it is.  I'm not fishing for sympathy or anything like that, nor do I want it, but I wonder ... do other people forget what their parents sounded like???   I am stunned that I can not remember her voice, barely remember what she looked like.    


  1. I can recall my mother's hands and her handwriting...I have only to look at my own. My mom died in 2005 at almost 93. I dreamed about her just last night.

  2. For a long time I would think of something to tell my Mom and dial my her phone number before I would remember she was not there to answer.

  3. Replies
    1. We never get too old to not want our Momma. Hope Andy is feeling much better today. I just know he is the sweetest young man.

  4. I loved that chocolate pie. My sister and I have talked about them often. Yes, it was the best. To the best of my knowledge she didn't measure everything exactly like I do in all recipes. I cook and bake all the time but I have never made a chocolate pie. Some things are best just left to the memory.

    1. YOU HAVE NEVER MADE A CHOCOLATE PIE????? Is this MY sister??? Even I have made a chocolate pie! Not often because I have trouble with meringue. dang ... now I want chocolate pie

    2. Nope I am the one that makes the Chocolate pies for her. I love you mom!

    3. I am confused ... who is this?