The passing of time, the passing of youth to adulthood, the passing of a loved one all tend to bring out so many mixed emotions and memories.
My childhood growing up in a small town in Texas was an experience I wouldn't trade for anything. It was so easy for my parents to show their love for us kids. With the little things of everyday life to the big things like family vacations and holidays. Thanksgiving was tables stretched all the way across the kitchen, so much turkey and food it could feed an army and family that filled the house with love and laughter. Christmas was always special with the smell of a real tree, presents that flooded out from under the lights and tensile and candy....every kind of homemade candy all over the house....fudge, bonbons, peanut clusters...you name it, my Mom baked it. It was a good time, a good childhood, one that so many kids could only dream about.
When we got older and into junior high and high school, things changed as they do in most houses when the parents grow older and the kids grow more independent and we were no exception. It was harder for us all to show the love we had, even though the love was still there, we all became more distant. As the years went by and we went our separate ways our lives got more complicated and it seemed that it was harder and harder to express that love. We knew it was there it was just hidden by so much clutter.
My Dad was a good man, one that would give the shirt off his back if you needed it. My Mom was a strong and yep stubborn woman at times. She got her strength from her Mom, a Matriarch of the family, one who being paralyzed on one side from a stroke raised four daughters on her own till my wonderful granddad came into her life. She could do anything and was always busy doing something, I know....she had me just as busy. That strength, stubbornness and love was passed to her girls and yep to us kids as well.
When my Dad passed in September of 2009, my Mom was alone for the first time in 59 years. As her mind became more confused and her body became weaker and weaker, her strength kept her going and going. She was a lady that always spoke her mind whether it was good or bad. She could be blunt at times but she could be very sweet and loving as well especially when it came to the staff at the nursing home. She developed a special relationship with each of them and they knew with her, she would be telling them the way it was one moment then telling them how sweet and pretty they were the next. She was one of a kind and anyone who had the chance to know her knows exactly what I'm talking about.
The time my parents spent in the nursing home was a hard time for them but it was also a time when we had the chance to reconnect, re communicate and reestablish the special relationship we had as kids. We had some special moments with my Dad before he passed and with my Mom as well. Her strength kept her fighting almost a year longer than the doctors expected but God knew what he was doing. Through those months my sister and I had some really Special Moments with my Mom and we were able to express our love and appreciation in a way we haven't been able to for years and it was good.........
So with the passing of my Mom in February, it starts a new era in our lives, one without our parents, their love, their support and guidance but then again....that love never leaves us as it was embedded in our hearts for years. The easy going side of my Dad and the strength and yep stubbornness of my Mom will always be a part of who we are.
And Our Journey of Life Continues.........