May 13, 2012
My, how I miss hearing you say those two words to me. I also miss other words you shared with me over the years.
Do you remember? I do daily. You thought I wasn't always listening...but you were wrong. I was busy taking mental notes.
~If you lay down with dogs...you're bound to get up with fleas.~
~Never try to argue with a drunk or a two year old. That's a fight you can't win 'cause neither makes any sense...and you can't understand a word either is saying.~
My personal favorite Mother and the one that has stood the test of time....
~Never write anything down you wouldn't want printed on the front page of the Courier Gazette.~
followed closely by...
~Never hang your dirty laundry on the front porch to air.~
You knew how to bring me back to reality when I was feeling full of myself simply by reminding me...
~Don't ever get in your head you're better than anybody else because you're not...but no one is better at being you than you.~
When I first married, you were full of wise advice. Advice I still turn to after 40+ years of marriage because it works.
~You know it's just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man...right?~
OK Mother...I can hear you laughing all the way from Heaven. Guess I wasn't paying attention when you laid those sage words on me, but thankfully I was when you warned me of the pitfalls every young couple encounters starting out.
~Buy with cash as much as possible unless you want to $25 E-Z Payment yourself right into the poor house.~
~Pick your battles.~
~If you start out in life settling for second best, you'll be settling for the rest of your natural born days.~
~Don't beat a dead horse or you'll end up a nag.~
~Look to the future and leave the past in the past. Pasts are like noses...everyone has one. You don't need to know his and he doesn't need to know yours. When he says he wants to know and he really can handle it? Trust me...he doesn't...and he really can't.~
Goodness Mother...to have been such a stickler for expecting ladylike behavior from me...you did have a way with the more...ahem...earthy phrasing. I swear up and down...no one could say a certain salty word the way you did. Law...you could say s**t so flat, I swear I'd get a whiff of it. I guess when dealing with a mouthy teenager, you figured out real quick-like the shock treatment worked like a charm for shutting me up!
~Don't fly so high darlin' you end up landing in bird s**t on your way down!~
~Quit picking the white stuff off the chicken s**t.~
~Chew on your words carefully before speaking because you never know. They might just come back later to bite you on the a$$..~
~The more you stir s**t with a stick...the worse it's going to stink.~
After 14 years, I don't cry every day like I did, but you are a constant in my heart...my compass for life. I write that to bring a smile to your face, but also to tell you I know your secret. I now know every time I cried...you cried with me...even when I didn't see you. Oh you might have fooled me back in the day, but I figured you out. Over time, I've seen that same face and those same puffy, mascara-smudged eyes looking back at me in the mirror too many times not to know.
~When raising children, you've got to get your bluff in from the get-go, but be prepared when they call your bluff. Kids can smell a coward.~
Your smile, laugh, and words I carry with me daily. I share them every chance I get with Joey and Jenn, knowing they will share them with their children. Bella and Graycie will never know their Mama Helen in this world, but we're doing all we can to make sure they recognize you in the better one a'waiting. We've told them to just listen and they'll be able to find you by the sound of your soft, lyrical voice...followed by God's laughter...at you trying to give Him advice.
I read somewhere, someplace, sometime...heartache and pain are reminders of how much we loved and how much we were loved. I love that reminder even though sometimes it hurts like hell. It gives me peace knowing there isn't an ocean or sky big enough to hold all the love I felt for you and by you the 47 years we had.
Heck...who am I kidding? I still love you and always will.
you had me at hello,
P.S. Just in case my daily descriptions of my grand-girls and their antics aren't enough...you'll be able to recognize them easily. Like you said of the past...they have noses...only theirs are just like yours.