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09 April 2009

Thursday Wrap/In Memory of Mom

It's time for Thursday Wrap as I have finished work for my work week of Sunday-Thursday. It seems like it has been a long week. Kiereney is progressing, Katie is regressing and Kelli is pained with a pinched nerve in her back one ER visit later early this morning.

We are going down to Kathy's for the weekend for Easter and to support her as she has to take the boys back on Friday after having them for a couple of weeks and she will miss them like crazy. Kelli and Kiereney are going down to visit their dad and grandpa and will be dog sitting for us again. Two weekends in a row without responsibility...how suweet it is! We will meet up with the kids for Easter dinner *gasp* ---I NEVER eat a holiday dinner anywhere but in a home setting ESPECIALLY not a restaurant. I just wasn't raised that way. But alas, it will be this way this year. Maybe next year we will descend upon Michael in Virginia and make him host Easter dinner! lol

Speaking of the Lt.(who I see in 18 more days!!!!!) Illinois has once again bobbled the ball with his transfer to Virginia. Right hand does not know what left hand is doing in the good ole Army, at least in Illinois. With 19 days before he graduates, he gets the word that, no, Illinois will not just release him...Virginia has to request him first from Illinois as to prevent a soldier from going AWOL, being released from one state and then deciding just not to sign up with the other state. Michael calls it a check and balance system. I call it FUBAR since he's had the papers from Virginia and been waiting for the word to send them. Plus he has to request permission for transfer in the form of a letter to a General in Virginia. Again, people, we've had SIX months to get this together and we're down to the wire. My OCD is OCDing! Michael seems cool, calm and collected as a good soldier should be, I guess. Where he is transferred depends on where he gets a job, where he gets an apartment, etc. These ducks should have already been lined up a long time ago IMHO.

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!


Margaret Ellen Mitchell Shepherd
03/03/1922-04/09/1968

Wow, Mom...1968 when you unexpectedly left me seems like yesterday in one way and forever in another. 41 years without you in my life. I trust that there really are holes in the floor of Heaven and you've been able to see what I've done with my life. I have done my usual annual thing of rereading your hospital notes, autopsy reports, etc. that I requested many years ago and every time I read them, I find or remember something new. As I was reading when you had the grand mal seizure that got you transferred to St. Louis where you unexpectedly died 5 hours later, I remember that I used to call you Little Mommy because you were usually in the 80 pound range and at 4'11" you could wear Girls Size 14 clothes. Remember I would pick you up and carry you and it would make you furious? Or when you talked with your hands and we would grab them and you weren't able to talk if you couldn't gesture with your hands?
I hope you've kept up with your three grandchildren. They are so different from each other, yet all share your qualities. Kelli is meticulous when it comes to record keeping, typing, computer~whatever~just like you were. She is also quiet but believes in rallying to a cause like you did, be it stupid drivers who made you think you were going to be hit(you never drove because you were too scared) or issues that she feels and you felt require her/your opinion. I love that about her. I guess you saw that I ended up being like that, too. I just wasn't at 13 when you knew me...I lived in Camelot in an ideal house, an ideal family and love was abounding. When all that came to an abrupt halt 41 years ago today, I found my voice. But you know that. I'm sure you weren't happy when I let Dad walk all over me and that continued through the grandchildren. Oh, the stories we could tell! But you know. You saw that I finally rose like a phoenix out of the ashes and drew the line with Dad.
And Michael...he reminds me of you as he always thinks deeply. He has a plan formulated for every occasion. He is a gentle giant. You would be so proud of him.
And then there's Kiereney...the unsinkable Mollie Brown. I have always said that you will never be dead as long as Kiereney is alive. She looks like you in profile. She has your laugh. She is hard headed like you, or perhaps stubborn is a better word. She fights the fights that need to be fought and she always finds a way to bounce back. I don't think(does a mother EVER know?) that she has the affinity for beer and cigarettes that you did, but the party never starts until Kiereney gets there. She is perpetual motion and I think she'd give you a run for your money on the dance floor. She is the bold one of the three. She'd be the one telling you to stop smoking and that you need to learn the Cha Cha Slide and she'd grab your hand and before you knew it, you'd be doing the Cha Cha Slide.
Every book has a slow steady beginning, a rising middle and a flash ending and that perfectly describes your three grandchildren. I am so blessed to have them. I just wish you could have seen them. Wish you could have been around on my wedding days, helping me keep it real during the panic attack monster and shared your recipes with me. Dad still won't give us the beef stew recipe...every time we ask him at the cemetary, a stream of Harley riders comes by...it's like he creates a diversion to avoid giving us the recipe. But you know that because you are right next to him.
I know you loved your purple petunias(purple was your favorite color and you were simply delighted when Dad painted your bedroom purple soda pop purple(which simply was not done in 1963) and bought you the white trimmed in gold antique canopy bed, chest, nightstands and dresser.) and Dad planted them in the window boxes on the house every Spring. You also know I was the one who had to carry pitchers of water out there to water them and I grew to hate them! Little kids have better things to do than water petunias every day. I boycotted purple petunias or most flowers for years. But last year, I broke down and planted purple petunias for you in a birdhouse stand on my deck. They were beautiful like velvet until the local squirrel tribe found them and well, the ending just wasn't pretty. But they also ate my Lantana and our tomatoes so I don't think your petunias were singled out.
If I could just have one.more.day to talk to you...to ask you all the questions that went unanswered...why you didn't tell me Dad was married and had children before he married you leaving me to think I was an only child all those years until the kids showed up at your wake...not funny, Mom. Why you didn't have more kids...surely I didn't ruin you on the subject of kids because you kept me in line and as you said, you could take me anywhere and I would not be any trouble at all. Just all kind of questions that I've needed answers to over the years but I winged it and I guess all in all, I haven't screwed my kids or life up too badly. I wanted them to know of you so badly...I've tried to tell stories about you and fear I will forget the stories before I can get them all told. I thought about writing them down but I just don't have the energy any more. I'm trusting the kids to have good memories. I want their kids to know about their great grandmother. I don't ever want you forgotten.
I love you and I miss you and I hope you know that, too.
I still hate my name but will sign it just for you today as you always smiled when you said my name.
Love,
Vanessa Gail

4 comments:

Alice said...

Wow. This one has left me bawling...beautiful tribute, Vanessa Gail. I know your mama is proud of the woman you have turned out to be.

Debra W said...

Vanessa Gail, what a lovely and unique name your momma gave you, dear one. To me, it sounds like the name of a beautiful flower, in itself. Your momma is always with you, Nessie, even when it's hard to feel her closeness. She is in you, she is in your children, and nothing, not anything, could ever take that away.

Life is hard, isn't it, dear friend? But it also wonderful, delicious, invigorating, inspiring and lots of other incredible things that surround us everyday.

You are a lovely soul.

Big hugs on this very difficult day.
Love,
Deb

jojo said...

Vanessa, you should be proud, it is a lovely name and suits you as far as I can tell. Beautiful tribute to your Mom, she sounds like a firecracker! Wish we both had out moms so we could get some answers, I'm sure they are dancing in Heaven. Easter Blessings to you and your family Ness, you done good ;D

DysFUNctional Mom said...

This is bittersweet, and touching, and sad, all at once.
I love your name, for what it's worth. When I was a little girl and got my first Cabbage Patch Doll, I named her Vanessa. =)