Sunday, May 14, 2017

Missing Mom on Mother's Day

by Pa Rock
Proud Son

Mother's Day 2017.

This is a day for honoring mothers, the hearts, souls, and unifying forces of families all around the world.  My own mother, Ruby "Florine" Sreaves Macy, has been gone for over thirty years now, but there is hardly a day goes by that I don't have occasion to stop what I am doing and think of her.  She was a couple of years younger than I am now when she passed away back in the winter of 1986, a life cut short by chain-smoking and a never-ending stream of hard work and service to others.

It's the little things that I remember clearest about Mom.   She always had a job and often my little sister and I would have to scramble to come up with breakfast or lunch, but Mom always had a good supper on the table.  The evening meal would include some type of meat, often meatloaf - but never steak, a vegetable, and fried potatoes.  Her fried potatoes were wonderful, crisp and brown, crunchy and tasty.   Desert was often coconut pie or Mom's wonderful spice cake, both of which seemed to permanently reside on her kitchen counter

Mom dressed nice, but on a budget.  She wore many of the same clothes for years, raising and lowering hemlines in order to stay fashionable.  Dressing her children properly for school was the priority. She liked to sew and make clothes, particularly for herself and my sister, and for awhile she worked for J.C. Penney in the backroom doing alterations.  In her time Mom made dozens of household pretties like doilies, throw pillows, quilts, and all of the household curtains. 

In her later years my mother joined a group of ladies who were all learning to paint, and through the Riverside Art Guild, Mom created many beautiful landscapes and rural scenes that have honored places in the homes of her children and grandchildren today.

My mother grew up and came of age during the Great Depression and World War II.  It was a time when young people were were literally thrust upon the world, whether they were ready for it or not, and through those rugged experiences, she realized the need for her children to become independent and self-reliant.   Nevertheless, I will always remember the first time she and my dad visited me at college.  I had been away from home for about a month, living in the dormitory, when they came on a Sunday afternoon to take me out to lunch.  After the meal Mom said that she would collect whatever dirty clothes I had accumulated and take them home to wash.  She was surprised (probably shocked) and obviously disappointed when I told her that I had been up late the previous night getting all of the laundry caught up myself!

She had taught me well.

Mom, I miss you.  Thanks for the good start in life.

And while I'm at it:

Happy Mother's Day to my daughter, Molly Macy Files, and my daughter-in-law, Erin Macy.  Molly is a stay-at-home mother of three children, ages five to nine.   She does everything but stay at home.  Molly is constantly on the road running a Mom Taxi to various schools, lessons, play dates, and all of the other child-related obligations that populate modern life.  Erin works outside of the home almost every day but still finds time to be an energetic and involved mother to two little ones, ages five and almost one.  When I visit either of these young women, I barely have the energy to watch them, much less even try to keep up with them.  Mothering ain't for sissies!

Happy Mother's Day to the world's true heroes!


Pa Rock said...

This piece on my mother was intentionally brief because I have written much about her in several postings elsewhere on this blog. This effort was aimed at collecting and preserving a few tidbits about my mother's life that were not mentioned in the other posts.

My cousin, Joyce, a lovely person, sent a lovely email regarding Mom after reading today's post. A copy of the text of that email follows - with Joyce's kind permission:


I loved your tribute to my Aunt Florine today. My memories of her are of an always kind and very thoughtful lady, who made sure I had lots of fun when I visited. I always really appreciated my Uncle Garland as well. He seemed to me to be a very good man who always had a smile and a bit of a twinkle in his eye. I always liked them both very much, and now as I get to know you better each day through your blog, I am even more impressed by them. They obviously raised good human beings.

BTW, your mom had given my mom a beautiful landscape, which my mother treasured and hung above the mantle in my parents' Joplin home. When my mom went into the nursing home and could have only a few personal items in her room, I asked my dad if I could take Aunt Florine's painting from above the fireplace to hang in my mom's new home, where she could see it from her bed. He agreed this was a good idea and my mom was so pleased.

After my mom's death, my dad rehung the painting above his mantle in Joplin, then Uncle Floyd asked my dad if he could have the painting, painted by one of his sisters and so treasured by another. Of course my dad complied. You might want to ask Uncle Floyd if you could have it when the time comes - it is a peaceful and beautiful scene. -- J.

molly. said...

This is a very touching blog entry. Thank you Dad. I love hearing about Ma. I actually spent a few hours of Mother's Day this year working on a painting, something I don't do often. I thought of Ma. And thank you Joyce.. I cherish what you added, thank you so much for sharing. :)