I am the luckiest girl in the world to have been blessed with really phenomenal parents. I have the best mom on this planet. She is my biggest cheerleader, has a heart of gold, a wicked sense of humor, a beautiful smile, highly intelligent, a beautiful singer, a talented artist. When I was little and someone would ask me what my mom did (for a living) I’d say, “She’s a nurse, she’s a doctor, she’s a sew’r (seamstress), she’s a chef, she’s a gardener, SHE does everything!” That’s really what I thought, LOL! In reality she was a stay at home mom but to me, she did all of those jobs.
My mom and dad (God rest his beautiful soul) had and raised 12 kids. I have 6 sisters and 5 brothers. I am second to the youngest. My father was a strong man. He was an extremely talented handyman and crafter. He loved music and loved to sing. He had a heart of gold although it was rare for him to show it. He also had a fierce temper (LOL!) and would snap if he lost something, which was quite often. We would all go running. My mother would be saying, “Say a Hail Mary and an Our Father” to help him find his shit. Me, I just scurried off as fast as I could. He was such a hard worker though and I knew that he loved me. I knew that he loved his family even if he didn’t say it often. I think it was his generation? Or maybe the fact that his own mother wasn’t very loving toward him growing up? She was very hard on him.
When I was little, my mom was busy (that goes without saying) but she always had time for hugs and kisses and for me to be held on her lap for some loving. She sang to me, I remember the songs. “I love Annie, boo-boo-boo-boo-boo-boo-boo” – Now I sing that little song to my granddaughter. She use to sing “Mairzy doats” and also Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree. She use to tell me she loved me to the moon and back. I use to tell her that I loved her more than the whole entire “University” – LOL. To this day when I visit with her and I go to leave, she tells me that she loves me more than the whole university. We always laugh.
I’ve never met anyone like my mother. I cannot fathom having 12 kids. The cooking, the laundry, the grocery shopping, the clothes shopping, the school activities, the cleaning, the homework. Of course some of my older siblings helped out but I always knew my mom was, … my Mama. She carried the brunt of the workload. My father was off working 2 and at one point 3 different jobs to make ends meet. My dad had a fierce work ethic, and I know that’s where I get mine from. They knew how to live within their means. Imagine the dental bills, the braces, the doctors bills. My dad had a good job and was finally able to work just the one to support his family. There were two supports. One in the trenches and one in the corporate world. God bless them.
It feels good to go back and remember my good childhood memories. Of a hardworking father and a mother that loved me to bits. I knew my dad loved me, there was a smarter part in me that knew he had to work to support this big family and to also spend his weekends taking care of home repairs and keeping up the lawn. I got all my loven’s from my Mama.
Our vacation spot was “Fish Lake” – we made the annual trek there and my mom would pack a feast, dad would grill out. We would swim all day and even get money to walk over to the concession stand. It was a big deal. We rarely ate out. There was the time we all went to McDonald’s, but I can only remember doing that maybe twice. Occasionally we had “Little Caesars Pizza” night. Again, very rare. My mother did all the cooking. She would even make our sandwiches for lunch weeks in advance and freeze them just to be partially ready for getting ready for school in the morning.
My mom confided in me when I got older that she use to go downstairs after all the kids were off to school, she would sit at the top of the step looking down at the laundry and would just cry for a while. I can only imagine. I just had 3 kids and the laundry would pile up and take over. I just don’t know how they ever did it. I wish my dad was still here. Unfortunately he passed away in ’04 and I miss him dearly. There are so many things I’d like to say to him. I’d love to say thank you Dad, for all you sacrificed for us. Tell him how much he was appreciated and how much I love him. I hope he knows what an amazing person he is. How different and special he is and how he raised 12 kids that he can be proud of.