There are many things that I think about when remembering my mother. Mama was unique in so many ways.
My Mama tended to exaggerate, especially when it was something to do with the health of someone else.
Case in point: I was still living at home. My sister, Cyndi, had injured her shoulder.
I get a call from my Mom. "You need to go over to your sister's house and help her. She can't use her arms! She really needs some help!"
The phone beeps.
"Hold, on a second, Mama."
It's my sister on the line. I can just see her standing there with my brother-in-law, Randy holding the phone to her ear.
I explained I was talking to Mom and I would be over in just a bit to help her.
When I get there, her shoulder hurts, just one shoulder, but she has the ability to use both arms.
She called me one day to tell me a tornado was headed my way and that I needed to get into the hall closet!
I slam the phone down, grab my cat, Tiger, and jump into the closet.
The phone starts ringing.
It doesn't stop.....
I run out of the closet, certain I am going to die before I can get back in there and it's Mom on the phone.
"Are you OK?"
"Mama! I was in the closet!!"
She had a quirky sense of humor that not many saw but us.
She was strong as she needed to be yet she also had the tendency to panic.
After we moved to Douglas Mom developed the habit of panicking with every siren she heard go by. I cannot tell you the number of calls I got from her. It was always the same thing.
"Are you OK? I just heard the sirens go by."
I was working nights and she called after lunch one day in the "middle of my night."
I saw it was her on caller ID so I thought I would just call her back in a little while when I got up.
Next thing I know I hear "It's a Small World" playing over and over. Since that happened to be our door bell at the time I finally got up and made it to the door to find Mom standing there.
"You had better get up before your house burns down around you!!"
The woods at the end of the road were on fire and it had, indeed, burned into our next door neighbor's yard.
After her abrupt delivery of her message she got into her car and drove away and I stayed outside spraying the water hose on my yard to prevent burning.
She called one day as she normally did. "Are you OK?"
To which I hastily replied, "Why, did an ambulance go by?"
It hadn't. And my teasing hurt her feelings. She pretty much quit her siren calls after that, much to my deep regret.
I missed them.
I often thought of how she dealt with it in terms of her other children. She was too far away from them to sense trouble that might have involved them. She couldn't hear the sirens to alert her that all might not be right. She just had to trust that it was. She could hear it in your voice if it wasn't, no matter how well you tried to conceal it. And she WOULD get it out of you, no matter how long it took!
She never quit worrying about me, even to the end. She downplayed all that was going on with her for my benefit and questioned me about, well, me.
And I feel the depth of loss of her, and the way she loved me, unconditionally.
I hear her voice often times....
I hear it coming out of my own mouth.
"Where are you at? There was a bad wreck in town."
"Call me when you get where you are going so I will know you are safe."
"If you go there sick like you are you are going to end up with pneumonia!!"
Every time I hear a siren and I don't know where my children are I feel a clinching in my heart and I know this is how she always felt.
It doesn't turn off, no matter how old they get to be....no matter how old I get to be.
I have become so much like her in many ways, and that suits me just fine.
I have grown into some of her attributes, some of her mannerisms, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I sure do miss my Mama.....and when I grow up.....I want to be JUST like her!!