As the World Turns (Out the Lights)

This is not my mom.  This is Helen Wagner, who played matriarch Nancy Hughes on As the World Turns for 54 years.  When I saw that Helen Wagner had died, I immediately thought of my mom’s devotion to the show, and how one of the many sacrifices she made on my behalf was picking me up from school, chauffering me to activities, and enduring interruptions by me that interfered with “her show.”  (This was before VCR’s and tivo!)
I have read a lot of “thanks, Mom” accolades, posts, and comments today, from the deep (Jess’s Diary of a Mom) to the slightly schmaltzy (Wayne Kevin and me in the Waffle House Mother’s Day 2010 Video).  In honor of the day, and my mom,  here are a few more thoughts.

              
Days were endless; years flew by.

The above is a “Six Word Momoir” by an author identified on The Smith Magazine Six Word Memoirs Site as “middleage.”  I have thought often over the years about a story I saw on 20/20 or one of those types of shows years ago.  The story featured a mom whose daughter was around six or seven.  The mom knew without a doubt that she was going to die from cancer, probably within six months.  The mom took videos of herself for her daughter, wrote letters to be opened at various milestone points throughout her life, and had “a plan” for making sure her daughter’s journey into young womanhood and beyond was as smooth as possible under the circumstances.  What I did not get was this:  every night the mom refused to put her daughter to bed (read stories, tuck in, participate in the bedtime routine) because the daughter “needed to get used to getting to bed without her.”  Me?  I would be greedy, for myself that I wanted that precious time with my daughter that I would not be able to have indefinitely, and for her that she have all of the “mom time memories” that could be made.  It’s not like she wasn’t going to have a drastic adjustment after the mom’s death no matter what. 

My mom has poured all of herself into the “endless days” as the years flew by; I appreciate that.

easy to give roots; harder, wings…….

Another “Six Word Momoir” (by “kathi_wright”).  When I was in high school training to run on the cross country team, I experienced some odd abdominal cramping.  Because of this, my mother followed me, at a slow crawl, in the car, to make sure I was okay.  Although I appreciate her concern (and now that I am a parent, I can almost understand her determination to make sure I was okay), this drove me crazy.  After all, part of running is the feeling of release and freedom.  Something about your mom following behind in the family car detracts from that release/freedom duo.  My mom succeeded in the “roots” department — Southern roots, spiritual roots, ethical roots.  I think she struggled with the “wings” part.  After all, as an only child I constituted all of the eggs in the basket.  Somehow, though, her stories about striking out (down the proverbial dirt road) to kindergarten at four; moving to the (relative) metropolis of Lake City after high school to live with other young women in an apartment and partake in square dancing and other fun activities on Friday nights must have stuck.  She probably had to bite her tongue (hard) when I announced that I was selling my car and moving to New York City without a job or a place to live. 

Wings, the hardest gift to give but you’ll see your kid soar.

The Pink Bird of Hope

Gosh I am glad I went with a bird-related thought above because it gave me a segue!  My mom is always difficult to buy gifts for.  She demurs on making specific requests, and frequently has been satisfied with a donation in her name to the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes.  This year, though, a year in which she celebrated her 80th birthday, called for a momento.  Enter the “Pink Bird of Hope” by Terra Studios.  I discovered the pink bird back when I was writing my Molten Mom Moments post.  I was researching the origins of my glass bluebird and discovered that there is a pink one, and part of the proceeds go to preventing breast cancer.

That is how this pink bird flew into my mom’s home to say “Happy Mother’s Day.”  She is a breast cancer survivor (among the many adversities she has survived in 80 years). 
As the World Turns is going off the air in September 2010.  I wonder what my mom will do with that new hour in each weekday.  I hope in those hours she is able to find something she enjoys as much as she has savored “her show” all these years.  In the words of  Six Word Momoirist “bjp”:  Always giving to others. Remember YOU.
I’ll “run” into you next week, readers.  (Look for my Wordless Wednesday on 5/12!)
(Mom, Tenley, and Wayne (and the pink bird of hope!))
Mother’s Day 2010

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