old country house blog

Happy Birthday Bonnie Jean

…Previously on MY Old Country House    We talked about cabinet installation and I showed you some before and afters of my new Cabinet doors.        But before I go further into the Kitchen talk today I want to take a slight left turn over here and talk about my MOM, because today, July 8, was her Birthday. She would have been 77 years old today. And she would probably have already called me at least 6 times to ask me what time we were coming over and if I could please, on my way, even though she knows how busy I am, pick her up some Diet Coke.

Mom and my Brother Ford

On her last birthday, in 2007, we spent the day like we usually did, sharing chocolate cake and bringing her a load of presents which she never got too old to enjoy. I was especially excited, because I had tracked down a pair of pants for her in the color “stone” which she had been wanting for months, or if you asked her “forever”. She was very specific and adamant that there was a BIG difference between “Khaki” and “Stone” and that everyone was always calling “khaki” – “stone”… and visa versa. Seems no one could get it right, and that simple fact make her nuts. So, after looking for months,  I had found a great pair of her favorite elastic waistband 50/50 pants, that were definitely “STONE” and I could barely contain my excitement and anticipation of HER excitement when she opened them.      We ate cake first and then the kids piled all of the presents on her table and started to help her open them.  I can’t remember if she opened the pants first or last or in the middle, but I will never forget her response. She opened the box and saw the pants…and then she shut the box and closed her eyes and then opened it again…”You got me Stone!” she said, as if it were her first Barbie. and then, and I swear to God she did not pause before she said this..”Do you think they have Khaki too?”      My husband looked at me as if to say …”Pick your battles….”, but like every Mother/Daughter DUO knows, we all have these dances we do, and this was my OUR best dance. My Mom knew that however frustrated I got with her, and however sternly I scolded her or told her I could “not BELIEVE” that all she could think of was “more”, she knew that I would go get them, which I actually did that day, and she knew I would not stay mad, no matter how MAD I was.      This is what I think I miss the absolute most about my Mom. I don’t have a sister, so there is not a woman or really a person on earth I have the kind of relationship I had with my Mom. I was 100% myself with her, the good the bad and the ugly.  I could be as bone cold honest as it gets and yet, there was never any doubt of Love, not icky questions or feelings of disappointment (well maybe a little) but there was always the KNOWN FACT, like that the sky is blue, NO, like that the sky is THERE,  that she was mine and that we would go on the next day, and any tiffs would stay in the day before. They would always be behind us.       When I was a little kid, and maybe a big kid too, I used to wish my MOM were different, or rather, less different than the other Moms, warmer, more of a talker, bubbly and chatty. She was not a huggy, mushy Mom, (though with her Grandkids she was a big hugger and told them that she loved them all the time and called them her “Little darlings”). She was definitely not a talker; “muteful” is how one of her friends  described  her. But when she was gone, I did not miss anything but HER. The rest did not matter. I would take a silent car ride any day to have her back with me. She was MY Mom. Period. That is just how it was, and always would be. And I miss THAT fact existing in my life more than anything.      I often feel that my Mom made ME more interesting. She gave me something to bounce off of. Like Gravity. And that without her I often feel a floaty kind of sensation, like I am rudderless, though I am always going full steam ahead. Interestingly and probably not surprisingly, I have come into my own, since my Mother died, and I have tapped into the deeper Core passionate more artistic center of my soul, without her, but maybe that is because that is where she lives. In the quieter, non verbal, unique center of my universe. It is how I know she is with me.      Now I call my husband when we need diet coke and now I am the one who is never quite satisfied. It all goes on, in the strangest of ways, and I am more often than not,  at a loss to describe it.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!

My Mom  and her younger siblings and some kittens

How About Lets talk about the cabinets tomorrow….