Friday, July 17, 2009

My Mom and Me

My Mom and I have been at odds over something or other most of my life. It seemed to me that I could never do anything right. Or not right enough for her. No gift I gave her as an adult suited her, either, it seems, (she often gave them back telling me she didn't want them, maybe she just meant she had no use for them? or place to display them?) but when we were clearing out her house so it could be sold, we discovered a collection of the things I made for her in kindergarden and the early grades.

I've heard it suggested that we butted heads so often because we are very much alike. I don't know if that's true. I'd rather it weren't, thank you very much. I do not want to make my daughters feel the way she made me feel.

I'm sure she loved me. She read to me when I was sick, she came to the hospital and stayed at my side when I had my tonsils out. When I was in kindergarden, we were supposed to tell our parents that we could come in costume for Halloween. I forgot. Mom walked me to school, and when I saw all the costumed kids, I refused to go in. She asked what the matter was. I must have explained, because we walked back home, cobbled together a costume from a kitchen apron and the headpiece with bunny ears from another costume, and I went as Mrs. Rabbit, Peter Cottontail's mother.

I was a disappointment to her in many ways. I was only one child, when she wanted a gaggle of younglings at her feet. As I grew up, I turned into someone who wasn't the daughter she wanted. I didn't follow her plan of college, graduate school, a career in science, and then a family. I rebelled. I fell in love with the guy who sat down next to me in Latin class, and told such interesting stories. I married him and dropped out of college. We had kids together. He left me. I have to hand it to Mom that she never said, "I told you so," when I called to let her know he was gone.

As adults, we got along better living far apart. Any time my parents visited for more than three days, my Dad had to referee. I remember one visit when, after my parents left, I couldn't find the can opener. My daughters told me Mom had found it where I kept it, and muttered that it didn't belong there, it belonged in the OTHER drawer, and they watched while she rearranged a variety of things in my kitchen to suit herself.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Margret Would Love this Article

Margret would have smiled, chirped with glee, bounced and clapped her hands to have this article read to her.

She had a boyfriend or three, but her relationships never reached the point of seriously contemplating marriage. Contemplating marriage was something she did on a regular basis, though, even marriage with guys she had only seen walking down the street, or heard about from some friend. It's the seriously part that didn't happen.

Thanks to Jess on Raising Joey for this link:

Sunday, April 26, 2009
By Monetta Harr, For the Citizen Patriot

A school-age snapshot of Alex and Alexis sharing a hug clearly shows the affection between the two when they were classmates at Columbia’s Miller Elementary School.

Flash forward to high school. Alex’s family had moved to the Napoleon school district, and the friends lost contact until his photo appeared with a Citizen Patriot story about him serving as manager of the boys basketball team.

Alexis’ mother saw it and suggested her daughter give him a call and invite him to prom.

Today they celebrate their first wedding anniversary. It is a love story made even more so because the couple have Down syndrome.

“I can’t even put into words how wonderful that feels, that Alexis found someone to love and be happy with. It’s what every parent wants for their child, and it’s wonderful,” said Laura Smith of Clark Lake, Alexis’ mother.

On April 26, 2008, Alex DeNato, 27, and Alexis Smith, 25, were married in Queen of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church, vowing to love one another as husband and wife.

They have a two-bedroom apartment in Alpine Lake Apartments, chosen because it is on the Jackson Transit System line and they use its Reserve-A-Ride service to get to work.

Alex washes dishes and peels potatoes at the Napoleon CafĂ©, and Alexis bags groceries at Polly’s Country Market in Brooklyn. They walk to Citizens Bank on Fourth Street and often walk to visit his parents, Mark and Chris DeNato, in Summit Township.

Alexis handles their money and checkbook, and Mark DeNato tracks it online, but rarely does Alexis make a mistake.

Laura Smith drives them to Polly’s Country Market at Ferguson Corners one weeknight each week.

“I usually sit in the car and talk to my sister,” said Smith, an X-ray technologist at Columbia Medical Center in Brooklyn. “They do their own shopping, have a list, and they don’t need me.”

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Still Miss You, Margret

One year ago today, we said goodbye to Margret, and let her go home.

She was ready to go.

Wouldn't it be lovely if she could write from where she is, and tell me she's happy, healthy and has plenty of interesting things to do?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wednesday was Margret's Birthday

We celebrated.

We went out for dinner, and had cheesecake for dessert. Margret liked cheese cake a LOT.

Then we had a fire to sit around. When it was going nicely we put gifts for Margret on it. The gifts are symbolic - empty boxes wrapped as gifts.

We thought of all the wonderful things Margret did in her life, and told each other stories.

Celebrating her birthday without her hurts, but it hurts less than not celebrating her birthday at all.