Sunday, May 22, 2011

Journal of a Living Lady #398

Nancy White Kelly

As you read this, Buddy and I are preparing to go to Panama City for a few days. The beach beacons us and we are vicariously waving back.

Tori’s parents have graciously invited us to spend time with them during their condo week. They assure us there is plenty of room for the extended family. Two of their grandkids are also our grandkids so it is a win-win for us all.

There is always much to do before vacationing. In our case, we must secure the coin shop and remove valuables to an off-site location. Officers from the Sheriff’s department will be routinely checking the property. Our wonderful neighbors will watch our home. Arrangements must still be made for the care of our pets, mail and newspapers.

Another task is finding summer clothes suitable for the stifling Florida heat. I open the closet with trepidation, hoping that it hasn’t been besieged by calories.
Yes, calories: those little monsters that get into your wardrobe at night and sew your clothes tighter. Several times during adulthood, my closet has been infested with those conniving, clothing critters.

Today I am fortunate. My bathing suit not only fits, but is a bit baggy. Score two hits for the Living Lady, one for the Big C known as cancer and the other for those menacing, little closet c’s.

When I was in the worst phase of cancer treatment, just before entering hospice, I had this unexplainable, yet persistent draw to the ocean. My Buddy cheerfully made the journey with me three times.

What is it about the ocean that calms the soul? For me, it is the rhythmic waves thumping the sandy shore. It is a sense of vast colossal wetness. It is a mysterious, unfathomable global entity filled with secrets of kings and merchants.

I hear those mighty waves calling my name. Sayonara, my world-wide, reader friends. Au revoir. وداعا,. Wiedersehenl. Adios.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Journal of a Living Lady #397

Nancy White Kelly

It’s Mother’s Day as I write this. My grown boys have expressed their love in a variety of ways and the grand kids too. I wish my mother was still alive so I could tell her one more time how much she meant to me.

Married at sixteen, Mama never worked a day for pay. She was a full-time homemaker, known for her spunk and unintended humor.

She was an excellent seamstress and a wonderful cook. She could equally dish out a tongue-lashing, especially to anybody who dared to slight any of her five biddies. That earned her the affectionate nickname, “Henzilla” and sibling security that she was always in our corner.

Mama died of congestive heart failure. During my last conversation with her, she strained to say something important. In a weakened voice, almost a whisper, she apologized for not having anything to leave us children as an inheritance.
I am not an easy crier, but I sobbed when she said that. I assured her that no amount of money, property or “stuff” could replace the gift she gave to her children: unconditional love. In a sense, she gave her life for her husband and off-spring. She was a mother worthy to be praised.

I never truly appreciated all my Mama did until I became a wife and mother myself. Over several decades, I became a foster mom to twelve children, an adoptive mother to one boy, and finally a birth mom to a late-in-life miracle son. Buddy’s mother set a good example. Today I am also a “mother-in-law,” blessed with a good relationship with both wives.

As another Mother’s Day is closing, I think of all the wisdom my mother passed to me. These words were probably were heard by you too:
Money does not grow on trees.

Play with fire and you’ll get burned.

Always change your underwear; you never know when you may be in a wreck.

When you have your own house, then you can make the rules!

Don't cross your eyes or they will freeze in that position.

If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?

Friends of a feather flock together.

And finally, close that door! Were you born in a barn?

A late Happy Mother’s Day to all you ladies who mothered or mentored a child. You did a good thing.