My mother was the favorite of the clan. My cousins once shared with me that, "no one messed with Aunt Laura because she could pick up one of Grandpa's milk cans and throw it on the back of his truck better than any man." I remember wishing I had been around then to share in the unity of the family.
My mother always spoke of her mother as an "angel" all the family held Grandma Coxey with high regard. I never had the opportunity of knowing Grandma Coxey but what I have read of her letters and others letters to her she was the rock of the family and she like my mother was loved by all.
When I was little I remember asking my mother if she felt Grandma Coxey would approve and love me?
She would smile and say, "Oh yes, mama would have loved you and you her."
I can't remember how old I was when mom shared with me that the reason she did not celebrate her birthday's were because her mother had been called home on her birthday. Her mama's last words to her were, "Laura, I almost died bringing you into this world, I guess it's appropriate I die today."
She took her last breath while lying in my mother's arms. My mom had lost her angel.
I remember poppers and I plannin months in advance to make mom's birthday's extra special and memorable. We would surround her with loved ones and her favorite things.
When my mom was 88 she lost her companion of 66 years. Once again her world had been rocked.
I remember her lingering at death doors a few days after he had been called home as if looking for a reason to stay but stay she did.
Trying to keep her life full I volunteered to create a Christmas program for family and friends who lived at an assisted living where I worked.
Knowing my mom loved Christmas and loved to sing I put together a choir and a program that touched on everything that my mother loved about Christmas.
It was a huge success.
All enjoyed it espically my mother.
I reserved the church cultural hall and planned a beautiful dinner and arranged the program to be a trip down memory lane for my mother.
She had a wonderful Bishop that took her under his wing after my poppers was called home, how she loved that great and honorable man.
He called and invited her out on a "date."
She was tickled pink and quickly accepted.
Dinner was fantastic and for entertainment we had a piano recital where her favorite hymns were played, the young woman dressed as flappers with some of moms necklaces for decorations performed some of the dances she had taught me as a little girl and for the grand finale we had some of her closet friends choir style sing some of her favorite songs.
That was the best birthday she had.
To commentate the evening she was given a photo album filled with that nights memories.
An album I now cherish.
Another memory, we had planned a family vacation to the Oregon coast.
Anyone who knows my hubbie knows that coast vacation for us is sand dunes and four wheelers with an ocean near by where you can ride the bikes on the beach.
My mom was a trooper.
Each day she sat out there with sand being blown throughout her hair which at one point turned from white to black due to all the sand blowing into it.
Visiting and peeling potatoes.
Once we returned home it took her hairdresser weeks to get all that Oregon sand out of her hair.
But oh how she loved that trip.
It was right up there with her 90th birthday bash.
The last week of my mother's life I got a glimpse of my Grandma Coxey, I was standing in the kitchen fixin something for mom to eat when I heard my name called.
When I turned I hit the back door in shock and disbelief. Grandma Coxey was standing in front of me with this message, "Lorie, I'm coming to get my baby girl, but you'll be okay."
And then it was if she had stepped back into a doorway and shut the door.
My heart was pounding, my hands and knees a shakin and my mother bless her heart simply stated,
"You seen mama didn't you?"
I then came to my senses and related to my mother that Grandma could not have her and she was to stay right her with me.
She just smiled and relayed to me another message Grandma Coxey wanted her to relay to me.
It was an emotional day.
The day Grandma Coxey came and got my mother I was sitting in a friend's house visiting with her when I felt a familiar hand caressing my hair.
I asked my friend if she had felt that to which my friend replied she had no idea what I was talking about.
My mom then popped into my mind and I jumped up apologizing to my friend but I had to get home to my mother.
By the time I had gotten home she had already crossed over,
she lingered just long enough to tell me good-bye.
I could feel her excitement about being reunited with all her loved ones whom she had been separated from for many years and once again as I heard her telling me she had to go it was if a door were shutting and she disappeared from my view.
Some nights the door briefly swings open just enough to reassure me that all is well and I have not been forgotten, but I must admit there are times my heart yearns to be reunited with my family so that this ache in my heart would once again be filled.
My mother once told me, "Lorie you never get over missing your mama."
She is right, I still miss my mother and all the fun we had and all the wonderful lessons she taught me.