Mom was the fifth child of Adam and Stefania, born on November 28, 1928. She was much, much younger than all her older siblings. So, according to Mom, that gave her a lot of freedom to “get away with stuff.” Stefania was pretty busy with tending to her grown family, so Mom kind of happily skipped along: “I never buttoned my coat or anything.”
She, like my dad, spoke no English when she started school. But she never officially graduated from high school because she couldn’t stomach the gym requirement. No kidding!
Mom is a quiet, behind-the-scenes sort of person. She’s the epitome of an INFP — quietly observing, feeling, empathizing, and processing. While my Dad seems bigger than life, my mom seems very much part of the woodwork, but looks are deceiving. Mom’s the glue that holds everything together. She is strong — emotionally and physically. She’s the exact opposite of a diva, but not in the home-spun, let’s-make-a-quilt-out-of-these-old-blue-jeans kind of way. She’s practical. She’s funny. She loves very deeply.
Mom’s the kind of woman who really would rather have a new shrub planted in the front instead of bouquet of long-stem roses. She loves blue, and I think I’m drawn to that color in my kitchen because it reminds me of her. She is always looking for a new kitchen gadget. She picks up Chinese take-out for a Baptist pot luck instead of slaving over another pan among dozens of muscacholi. And when she’s asked for the recipe, she giggles and says, “I’ll draw you a map.” She thinks picnics are silly: “Let’s just eat at home and then go to the park.” And my husband still thinks she makes the best coffee!
Her words still ring in my head:
- “Never work at a restaurant. You don’t want to always be around food.”
- “Honey, you’re tired. That’s why this is so frustrating. Put the sewing away until tomorrow.”
- “Don’t bother trying to be a professional actor. Too much disappointment. That’s no kind of life.”
- “Look at your Dad’s hands. See how hard-working they are? You want a man with calloused hands, honey.”
- “You highlighted your hair, didn’t you? Yeah. . . . mine always turned that same color green when I did that too.”
- “I never understood my mother-in-law, dear, until I had you.”
- “Oh, they are painting the lines for the cross walks. School will begin again. The leaves will turn colors soon. ::sigh::”
- “I think God gave us dogs and cats so we know what unconditional love looks like. It’s like a little slice of heaven.”
- “Always eat a little protein, dear. You’ll feel better.”
- “Don’t try to clean your plate.”
- “Boys have feelings too, you know.”
- “I always enjoyed you kids. I was always disappointed when school started up again. You were such fun!”
- “Meat’s easy to cook. It’s the easiest thing! So’s rice. Don’t buy Minute Rice. Just make it the regular way.
- “No cat is worth all that trouble.”
- “I learn so much from you kids.”
That’s my Mom!!