My Dad passed away in 1995, and Mum passed away a little over 2 years ago. I could just put on Facebook "to my Mum in Heaven" but I figured I would take it up a notch.
My Mother lived until she was 80. Although my Mother probably seemed like a pretty ordinary person, a sweet little old lady, there were some pretty interesting things about her that you probably didn’t know. So, I want to do a top 10 “Did You Know” countdown to tell you a few secrets about my Mum.
10. When my cell phone rang, a Kid Rock song would play. When Mum heard it, she would start dancing around the kitchen, bathroom, wherever. In fact, my 80-Mother dancing to the song “So Hott” got my attention way more than a ringing cell phone ever could.
9. in 1960 Mum was one of two people that got polio in the Perth-Andover area. The doctor said she would never walk again without braces, but with Dad’s help, and Mum’s strength and resilience, she never had to wear leg braces.
8. Mum was a beautiful singer, and she used to sing to her kids all the time. When I was little, I tried and tried to convince Mum to be a country music star so we could be rich. But Mum said she was too shy, so that money making scheme was a no-go.
7. When I was about 7, all of a sudden Mum started crying uncontrollably, and was very sad, for many days. I didn’t know who this Elvis guy was that had just passed away, but he obviously was Mum’s close personal friend for her to cry so hard and for so long.
6. Mum had a condition called spinal stenosis. She was in pain quite a bit of the time, but she was really concerned that she might get addicted to one of the hard-core drugs the doctor prescribed. Tylenol.
5. When Mum was young, she completed a correspondence course in nursing. She didn’t complete the whole program because she would have had to work in Boston for a while for the practical part of the course. It didn’t really matter if she finished her degree or not, we called her Doctor Miller, anyway.
4. When my Mum was going through menopause some number of years ago, she went through a grumpy spell, and she used to tell her kids not to stand so close to her …She’d say…”Get away from me, you’re using up all my air…..” That sure made a kid feel loved.
3. Mum was always a fan of the underdog. It didn’t matter what bad stuff a person did, she would always find their good qualities and focus on those. I can just imagine her saying, ….”well, the Devil is not that bad of a guy, he just made some bad choices, he’ll come around, just give him some time….”
2. Mum was unusually thankful. These last few weeks in the hospital, she thanked everyone that helped her, even if the person did the smallest of tasks like empty the garbage can in her. How many of us have the strength of character to thank the person who gives you a needle?
1. At every funeral Mum ever went to, she wore big black sunglasses over her regular glasses. I suppose she didn’t want anyone to see the grief in her eyes. She kind of looked like a white-haired Roy Orbison.
As much as Mum was just a simple farm wife from the country, she led an interesting and full life, and was a hoot ‘til the end….she loved and was loved by many. And I suppose that is all any of us can ask for.
Here is a secret I didn't tell anyone until now. I am the only person in the whole world that heard, saw, and even felt, Mum's last breath. My sisters were in the hospital room at the time, but were distracted. I was very present for her last breath, just like she was there for my first.