Mom never took a good picture. She either threw her hands in front of her face, or when the camera was too quick, found herself with her mouth open. But the world melted around her when she was with children (such as in the enclosed pic, when she met her Grandson Peter for the first time).
She taught me poker in the mornings before kindergarten … cheated, too. Couldn’t throw a baseball to save her soul, but didn’t let it stop her from grabbing a glove and a ball and ordering me outside one time when I wanted to play catch and none of my friends were around. She could bring entire civilizations to their knees (especially my father) with The Silent Treatment when she was pissed. She didn’t let rain, sleet or dead of night get in the way of stealing a smoke on the porch, though you were more than welcome to join her.
She believed you could accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.
Goodbyes used to take FOREVER at her house. You’d have to bake at least an extra 15 minutes (or longer) into your departure time at the front door when making your exit. Multiple rounds of hugs and kisses mixed with efforts to send you home with food or other mementoes. We used to call that intermediary phase, “Fixin’ To Leave,” which was a completely different animal than the actual leaving.
She had an ornery streak and a wicked sense of humor that were perfect around her kitchen table, if not for polite society.
One time she commented how the obituaries and the memorials in the Herald-Standard made the deceased sound like angels. She called B.S. on the practice.
My brother promised her when she passed, we’d write one about her saying, “You thought we’d miss you … but you were wrong.” We all laughed (Mom, included) FOR YEARS about that.
On the third Mother’s Day since her passing, I think she’d be pleased to know the remembrance still coaxes an ornery grin.
And also that her baby boy still finds himself saying his goodbyes.