It takes a long time for a daughter to come to the knowledge of what a gift she is to her mother. I speak for myself here as much as anyone else. My mother gave birth to six daughters and five of us survived to be senior citizens who are all still here. We know how fortunate we have been so far and have talked about it before. During my turbulent childhood - my mother was the stable one - the one who put the anxieties in their place and could always make people not just smile because of her beauty and grace but laugh out loud with her wicked sense of humor even in the face of her own anxieties and pain. When I think of Daddy and his family and then all of us girls and how strong our personalities were - I realize just how strong Mama had to be because she not only could but would stand up and speak her mind when it needed to be spoke!
I hope Mama knew how much I loved her - I believe she did. She told my uncle how proud she was of us for the way we took care of her when she was so sick. He told me in a card he sent me after she died and it meant so much to me. I know Mama had a special relationship with each one of us and she carried many of our secrets with her when she died. She never compared one to the other and tried to treat us equally. When Daddy died, she turned to each one of us in a unique way. With me it started when she made me her medical go-to person. She would call me to talk about a "funny feeling" she was having and after we talked I would tell her we need to go to the doctor. It was during her first serious illness that I became her medical champion and I took it very seriously.
When I have looked back, I think it was because I never tried to take over and make decisions for her about what I thought she should do but once she decided I would make sure her decision was implemented. Years before she had made the comment that I was just like my Daddy ( I was getting on my kids for something) and I got defensive and came back with something like "Well you know what Mama? The older I get the smarter I think Daddy was!." She laughed and said - "Jane, when I say you act just like your Daddy, I'm not talking about the negative things about him - I'm talking about the good things about him. You need to remember there were lots of good things about him." Then I felt good and realized later that might be one of the reasons she turned to me for the scary things because he was very strong in those situations and made us feel safe when he was around (as long as he wasn't the one scaring the mess out of us which he could do so easily.) She would also call me when a relative showed up thinking they were going to live with her after Daddy died - I was the one who had to tell them sorry but No - my sisters and I had decided it was best that no one move in with her for now as we had already had one bad experience where a cousin came and asked to stay until she got on her feet. Boy - we learned our lesson with that one. Daddy hadn't been dead a month when the suitors came out of the woodwork. She was able to handle them for the most part but one was a cousin of my Dad's and she had mentioned to me that he just wouldn't quit calling. One night he called me to say he wanted to marry my Mama and she had told him to call me because I wouldn't allow it. (I'm not sure when I inherited that power but I went with the flow and figured out that Mama needed me to get rid of him.) He then asked me if I would let him marry my Mama and I said " No, not over my dead body. It just ain't gonna happen so move on." He said, "But why not?" I said, "Because she doesn't want to marry you and you refuse to take no for an answer from her so listen real good - it just isn't going to happen and don't call the other sisters because they aren't going to say yes either. She is doing very well on her own and doesn't need a man who wants to marry her so she can cook for him, wash his dirty underwear and pick up after him so move on.". He finally did.
My daughter has been a gift to me since the day I conceived her. I lost my first baby so was a little anxious when I found out I was expecting. It didn't help that there were problems with the pregnancy from the beginning. After being on bed rest off and on the first three or four months, premature labor at 6 months, etc., she was born - are you ready? On her due date! She has always been exactly what I wanted and more in a daughter. She knows it because when she got a little older she would say, "Mama - stop talking about me like that or you will make everyone hate me!" I wonder if I irritate people by talking about her even now? How could that be? So my daughter gave me a wonderful gift at the beach that I love! I had just been looking at something similar the day before at Christina's Collectibles down near Swansboro. She gave Leah one also that has blue colors and mine has the colors of Topaz and Autumn.It makes me think of the beautiful ring my brother-in-law had made for me that was stolen out of my jewelry box by a neighbor's daughter one day along with a few other things and no - I never got it back. I was born in November and Topaz is the color of my birth month . I have always loved the stone's color and Autumn. I kept wondering where I could hang it so this is where I'm going to try first to see if it works. I want it where I'll see it often but not where Miya will kill herself and destroy everything around her trying to swat it. Leah will have the same problem finding somewhere to hang her beautiful hand blown blue globe. If LittleD keeps his succulent garden in their bay window, it might survive Hiro and Vincent hanging above there. Miss you Mama and Page.