Archive for mothers

Happy Mother’s Day

Posted in All posts, Life with tags , , on May 11, 2008 by Trina

I originally posted this one year ago, and am reposting it today for my mom.
MomTrina

Today I’d like to thank you, Mom, for the things you did that helped me become the person that I am. You married my father when you were still in high school. You and dad lived in a small one-room cabin when I was a baby. You took me there several years ago. I was startled to see how small it was. What it must have been like for you in that small room with a baby, I can only imagine. Yet, I’ve never heard you complain. You talk about that time almost with yearning. It must have been a happy time for you and Dad.

I have some of my happiest memories of later, when we lived in a small singlewide trailer until I was five. I remember falling asleep in my bunk bed listening to you doing the dishes and singing or talking with Dad. I felt safe and warm and wanted to live in that trailer forever. You never complained when you hauled our clothes to the ringer washer in the trailer court and then hung them on the line. I remember playing under the clothes strung from one end of the trailer to the other, the smell of laundry soap heavy in the air. As a young child I thought it was fun running through those clothes, not able to walk from one end of the trailer to the other. I never asked you how you managed to raise five kids living so simply. I’m so proud to call you my mom.

Mom TodayTrina 5th grade

Mom, you had a huge influence on my success. Here are a few things that you did that helped make it possible for me to pursue my dreams.

• Because you were so young and cooped up with my sisters and I, you played games with us. When I was very young, we played, “I’m thinking of something green.” We begged you to play “the color game” and others, endlessly. Later it was cards, yahtzee, and even Barbies. I still love games because of you.
• Mom, you made the time to read us stories. You hauled us to the library every week, where I checked out as many books as I could carry. Because of you, I still love reading today. You will find me at my happiest with my nose in a thriller.
• You played the piano and sang and encouraged all five of us to play an instrument. You forced us to practice, which we hated. Although none of us pursued it, the experience taught us persistence and a good work ethic.
• You made our clothes, for all five of us. You also made all of the clothes for my dolls and Barbies. You taught me to sew, which is a skill that I found so valuable later in life.
• Mom, you instilled a work ethic in me that has brought much of my success. I would not have been a good teacher without that skill. The attention to detail and drive for success that helps me now as a science education researcher I owe to you.
• You are not afraid to stand up for yourself. That one example has probably helped me more than anything else. I’ve watched you march up to a receptionist or make a phone call where you were relentless in getting what you needed, either for your husband, your children, or yourself. You are an inspiration to me.
• Mom, you show me that you love and care for me every time that I talk to you. I treasure our walks together and our long talks.

So thanks, Mom! You have helped me by your example and your caring. I love you.

March: one year later

Posted in All posts, Life with tags , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2008 by Trina

Today is the one-year anniversary of my mother-in-law’s passing, so in her honor, I’m reposting March.

Sometimes, life has a way of reminding you that there’s nothing more important than being with the ones you love. I want to offer my sympathy to everyone who’s had a loved one pass away suddenly. And I want to thank friends and family who comforted my husband Harry and I. When your world is turned upside down in a minute, it is hard get beyond the emptiness to find a way even to grieve.

It’s been a long, hard week. I was too emotionally drained to work, even today, although I sat at my computer and pretended that I was able, while my mind drifted to the events of the past week. If I’m in a state of emotional overload that has left me exhausted, I can only imagine the grief that my husband is feeling.

Harry’s mother, Beulah M. “Snooks” Calhoun, passed away Monday morning, March 19, 2007, from a cerebral vascular accident, a stroke.

I met Harry’s father for the first time as we walked across the hospital parking lot late Saturday afternoon and then met Beulah Calhoun where she lay in a hospital bed, an oxygen tube in her nose. She opened her eyes and looked at my husband, made noises, but nothing that resembled words. She didn’t recognize her son. It is the worst thing I’ve ever witnessed, or ever hope to.

Days followed: funeral arrangements, the viewing, financial matters and family dinners. Each day ran into the next and ended with Harry and I falling into bed exhausted and numb. When we came home on Saturday, although we had been gone for not even a week, it felt like an eternity.

I noticed on the drive home from the airport that in our absence winter had departed. After the cold and rain in Connellsville, Pa, the sights and sounds of spring in North Carolina were a welcome sight. Tulips had broken ground, pushing through the hardy daffodils. Pink and red azaleas now dotted the hedges, seemingly overnight. The oaks hung heavy with seedpods and cottony dogwood flowers rained pink and white petals, joining maple seed airplanes on the recently cut grass. The sight of gold finches fighting for seed at the bird feeder made me cry. We were home.

Beulah’s loved ones describe her as being most happy out of doors, so I think it fitting to end this entry with “March,” written by Hal Borland. Although I never knew her in life, the narrative seems to fit the mother of my husband. So, in memory of Beulah Calhoun, whose funeral was held on the first day of spring, and for her son:

March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice. She knows when the first shadbush will blow, where the first violet will bloom, and she isn’t afraid of a salamander. She has whims and winning ways. She’s exasperating, lovable, a terror-on-wheels, too young to be reasoned with, too old to be spanked.

March is rain drenching as June and cold as January. It is mud and slush and the first green grass down along the brook. March gave its name, and not without reason, to the mad hare. March is the vernal equinox when, by the calculations of the stargazers, Spring arrives. Sometimes the equinox is cold and impersonal as a mathematical table, and sometimes it is warm and lively and spangled with crocuses. The equinox is fixed and immutable, but Spring is a movable feast that is spread only when sun and wind and all the elements of weather contrive to smile at the same time.

March is pussy willows. March is hepatica in bloom, and often it is arbutus. Sometimes it is anemones and bloodroot blossoms and even brave daffodils. March is a sleet storm pelting out of the north the day after you find the first violet bud. March is boys playing marbles and girls playing jacks and hopscotch. March once was sulphur and molasses; it still is dandelion greens and rock cress.

March is the gardener impatient to garden; it is the winter-weary sun seeker impatient for a case of Spring fever. March is February with a smile and April with a sniffle. March is a problem child with a twinkle in its eye.

Hal Borland: Sundial of the Seasons, 1964

March

Posted in All posts, Life with tags , , , on March 26, 2007 by Trina

Sometimes, life has a way of reminding you that there’s nothing more important than being with the ones you love. I want to offer my sympathy to everyone who’s had a loved one pass away suddenly. And I want to thank friends and family who comforted my husband Harry and I. When your world is turned upside down in a minute, it is hard get beyond the emptiness to find a way even to grieve.

It’s been a long, hard week. I was too emotionally drained to work, even today, although I sat at my computer and pretended that I was able, while my mind drifted to the events of the past week. If I’m in a state of emotional overload that has left me exhausted, I can only imagine the grief that my husband is feeling.

Harry’s mother, Beulah M. “Snooks” Calhoun, passed away Monday morning, March 19, 2007, from a cerebral vascular accident, a stroke.

I met Harry’s father for the first time as we walked across the hospital parking lot late Saturday afternoon and then met Beulah Calhoun where she lay in a hospital bed, an oxygen tube in her nose. She opened her eyes and looked at my husband, made noises, but nothing that resembled words. She didn’t recognize her son. It is the worst thing I’ve ever witnessed, or ever hope to.

Days followed: funeral arrangements, the viewing, financial matters and family dinners. Each day ran into the next and ended with Harry and I falling into bed exhausted and numb. When we came home on Saturday, although we had been gone for not even a week, it felt like an eternity.

I noticed on the drive home from the airport that in our absence winter had departed. After the cold and rain in Connellsville, Pa, the sights and sounds of spring in North Carolina were a welcome sight. Tulips had broken ground, pushing through the hardy daffodils. Pink and red azaleas now dotted the hedges, seemingly overnight. The oaks hung heavy with seedpods and cottony dogwood flowers rained pink and white petals, joining maple seed airplanes on the recently cut grass. The sight of gold finches fighting for seed at the bird feeder made me cry. We were home.

Beulah’s loved ones describe her as being most happy out of doors, so I think it fitting to end this entry with “March,” written by Hal Borland. Although I never knew her in life, the narrative seems to fit the mother of my husband. So, in memory of Beulah Calhoun, whose funeral was held on the first day of spring, and for her son:

March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice. She knows when the first shadbush will blow, where the first violet will bloom, and she isn’t afraid of a salamander. She has whims and winning ways. She’s exasperating, lovable, a terror-on-wheels, too young to be reasoned with, too old to be spanked.

March is rain drenching as June and cold as January. It is mud and slush and the first green grass down along the brook. March gave its name, and not without reason, to the mad hare. March is the vernal equinox when, by the calculations of the stargazers, Spring arrives. Sometimes the equinox is cold and impersonal as a mathematical table, and sometimes it is warm and lively and spangled with crocuses. The equinox is fixed and immutable, but Spring is a movable feast that is spread only when sun and wind and all the elements of weather contrive to smile at the same time.

March is pussy willows. March is hepatica in bloom, and often it is arbutus. Sometimes it is anemones and bloodroot blossoms and even brave daffodils. March is a sleet storm pelting out of the north the day after you find the first violet bud. March is boys playing marbles and girls playing jacks and hopscotch. March once was sulphur and molasses; it still is dandelion greens and rock cress.

March is the gardener impatient to garden; it is the winter-weary sun seeker impatient for a case of Spring fever. March is February with a smile and April with a sniffle. March is a problem child with a twinkle in its eye.

Hal Borland: Sundial of the Seasons, 1964