Monday, October 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom - You are missed

Mom (Pamela Jean) - I don't know the year of this picture, but it is clearly the holidays (festive sweater mom, Jessica are you loving this?) and that is our first house, so it is probably the mid-late 80's.

It hits me some days that it has been nearly sixteen years since we sad goodbye. I sit here to write this birthday wish and all the things I think and feel don't seem so easy to express.
In a way I owe this blog to her. It was seeing her cook that inspired me. It was seeing the joy and the ease in which she did it all that allowed me to try. Maybe that's why I have always felt so relaxed when I bake and cook. I think it is during these times I feel she is there. Reminding me it doesn't have to be perfect, telling me to take my time. Making sure I know she is always at my side. And perhaps that is why I take it so seriously and get a little on edge when someone tries to step in (sorry sweet hubby and friends). Those are my moments with her.
I really wish she could be here. It breaks my heart she never met Jim, didn't get to pass down some of her family recipes to her daughter in law, Carmen. It hurts that she doesn't get to bake Christmas cookies (peanut butter blossoms, Russian teacakes, nut cups, etc.) with the two amazing girls that are her granddaughters. Chucky and Carmen did good with those two. One day when Jim and are I blessed with children of our own, I will feel that pain knowing she won't be there to spoil the heck out of them. I know that is what she would do. I often choke up realizing that the amazing friends in my life never met the person who helped shape me into who I am today.
I have only one complaint - She didn't write down her recipes. I have three that Grandma gave me in her handwriting. They are tucked away in a plastic protective sleeve, already stained from the years she used them, notes lining the margins of notebook paper she jotted them down on. I have tried to perfect her oatmeal butterscotch cookies to no avail, I won't even attempt her blackberry cobbler, and chicken soup with homemade noodles, well mine it doesn't come close. Perhaps it was just that little bit of motherly love that made them impossible to duplicate.
Either way, she inspired me. It is why I read cookbooks cover to cover and would rather spend money on a mixer than a designer purse (of course, if I could have both that would be great too). She is the reason why when most men would be in the doghouse, I actually ask for appliances for Christmas. A few years ago, Grandma (her mom)taught me how to make jelly and jam, and it felt like I was in the kitchen with her again. We had so much fun.
She was 39, far too young to have to leave the world, but here long enough to touch more lives than she could ever know. She is still touching them today. If today I have friends and family who adore and admire me half as much as her family and friends did her, then I must be doing something right.

Happy Birthday Mom!
*****Maybe this is the year you will finally get your pig roast! : )

The music is a bit slower today, but its my blog and I'll post how I want to. Forever Young has a very significant and special place in mine and my brothers hearts -a special bond with my mom, and the rest just seem appropriate today. And btw....I was less than pleased with playlists happy birthday choices. I am still learning how to search just right on there though.
To lighten it up a little (I know that is her style), I leave you with some pictures I am sure she would like, and if nothing else will have some friends laughing at my expense,: (go down to continued post for more - I guess there is a picture limit???)

Me, Alyssa, and Kara (my brothers girls) just being goofy. Grandma looking on wondering if it is possible there is a mix-up and she isn't really related to us!

Me and Aunt Kimba.
(moms younger sister - remember the first post, I'm her first niece, she is my confirmation sponsor, etc. etc. - I wonder if she is reading)

Me, Grandma and Papa (moms mom and dad). This was after Dads 60th birthday party in July. They drove down from Michigan and I came up from Florida. They surprised me, and I had no clue they were coming. Chucky, Carm, and the girls kept the secret the whole time I was staying with them. They made the seven hour drive to Ohio to be with my mom when she was sick more times than you could count. They will always be my heroes.

Chucky, Dad, and Me - Thanksgiving 2006. Can you tell Chucky was on his few days off in a row. Firemen can't have beards (mom would be so proud of him) And Dad, as you can see fully embraces the grey. The Florida heat and humidity caused me to chop the hair recently, but still a fun picture of us.

I have no clue what year this is (lesson here is date your pictures). She is really young though and I think Aunt Kim might be able to help, based on the robe (lol). I posted it because I have been told I give this SAME look to people.


Jennifer P. said...

That was such a beautiful, moving post Carrie. I can't believe how much like your mom you look! WOW! And wonderful that you recognize things about yourself that are like her. My mom got to see 3 out of the 4 of my boys, and made it to the "ripe old age" of 63---and it wasn't any easier to let her go. I'm having a little cry with you over her. You wrote her down very well though!

Trisha said...

Ok. So I'm an idiot because I can't even blog!!! So I'm giving it a shot. Please know that although this was your mom's b-day, I do think abouth you all the time and how you have prevailed through some of the hardest times one person can go through. And thanks for the music, I needed to cry!!!!!

jenjen said...

Wonderful birthday tribute to your mom. It's so great that you can see things in yourself that are the same and celebrate them. I lost my Dad a few years ago and when it was his birthday it was nice to pay him a tribute to how special he was and how much I miss him. Sending warm wishes to you on this day!

ckrae said...

Well, After laughing at the picture, wiping the tears away and then saying OMG to the picture of you and me.... I can only say that I love you more now then I could every have imagined. You are truly the most beautiful, wonderful daughter my sister(and best friend) could ever have had. and yes you were right MFN

ckrae said...

I am thinking that is around the 1973-1974. Her long hair and the house coat. Yes I said house coat. (it's not a robe) There is a difference. She always loved to wear it around the house.