Tuesday, April 7, 2015

- Remembering

My mom left the world seven years ago on April 7, 2008 and though the ache of that loss has long since receded, still I found myself looking through things today ... remembering.

In this picture of the two of us dated 1958, she is younger than my daughters are now and I am the same age as Jackson and Griffin ...


I still have some of her clothes, mostly skirts that I wear less and less these days, and her jacket that I wear whenever the temperature drops below fifty ...



her quilt, first written about here ...


and the sampler I made for my parents' fortieth wedding anniversary that hung in their dining room on Shelter Island until my dad passed away in 2012 ...


I uncapped a bottle of moisturizer, given to me by my dad when I helped go through mom's things and was transported by the scent that was a part of her for as long as I can remember ...



I also found my planner for 2008 --a year filled with sorrow and joy-- with lesson plans for school and wedding plans for our daughters interspersed with questions for doctors and lists of meals to cook and freeze at Shelter Island ... the last letter from my mom, when the neurological decline that had begun two years earlier was accelerating --stealing away her ability to speak and write and walk, but not her mind-- in which she wrote prophetically, "I'm not a very good patient and want to go out on my own" ... and the eulogy I delivered at her memorial service less than six months later ...


Re-reading those words, I realized once again it was cooking for others that was the essence of my mom and continues to be the best part of me. A mantra to live by: Food is love.

10 comments:

Marti said...

Food is love and memories fuel that love. My heart so responded to your beautiful writing here Liz. (My Mom and Dad have been gone for over 35 years.)

Liz Ackert said...

Thank you Marti ... I was so fortunate to have my parents for as long as I did.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

i look at all this and am Warmed by it. I didn't have. didn't have ...anything like this with my own mother. Nothing.
i look at things people say about their mothers and well, what? Look at things people say about their mothers. And still, i don't have that. So for me, it's like looking in a Window.....

Liz Ackert said...

((Grace))

jude said...

the smell thing, isn't that amazing?

Liz Ackert said...

It is ... I can close my eyes and recall the sea-air scent of my parents' Shelter Island home and the sound of the screen door closing behind me.

Julie S said...

Beautiful post. Liz. Looking at the first photo, similar to one I have here (not of you!!). They dressed us up so, those moms of the 50s....

Liz Ackert said...

And the jewelry ... she loved accessorizing. That skill most definitely did not get passed on (wink)

ARTISUN said...

Your words about your mother, so very beautiful, thank you for sharing her with us. She reminded me so much of my mother who also passed in 08. I continue to miss her everyday, but you are right, the pain lessens with time, but when I read your post, I still got teary eyed. My mother cooked too, from scratch, every single night for 70 years except Sundays. And she worked full time, and gardened full time and never once complained about how tired she was. And I never really appreciated her with my whole heart and mind until after she was gone. To have just one more hour with her, to tell her how very remarkable she was would be the greatest gift. I often wear her clothes or look thru her papers/cards/journals/pictures. My favorite thing is to see her writing. I would recognize it anywhere.

Liz Ackert said...

Oh Debra, I'm sorry to hear you no longer have your mother with you, except in spirit. But telling our mothers' stories helps somehow ...

I had to laugh when you mentioned Sunday nights ... my mom was a stay-at-home mom and was totally "done" by the time Friday rolled around. You can read more here: http://imgoingtotexas.blogspot.com/2009/09/friday-night-supper.html