Saturday, June 28, 2008

In the wee, wee hours of the morning...

...on Friday, I was up and making the two cakes - one for the company BBQ and one for us.

It was finally cool in the house and I had the front door and a few windows open. Perfect time of day - perfect light- perfect cuppa coffee..
There are times when I really REALLY like quiet, but I didn't want it so quite. Being not quite ready for television (I find that to be most of the time lately..especially when it's too early for Animal Planet or HGTV..)
So I turned on the kitchen radio.

Yeah, I have a kitchen radio. An under the counter, a CD playing-remote controlling,-AM/FM playing radio.

And I don't listen to it enough.
As the cake baked and the smell of the pineapples, sugar and pecans went through the kitchen, I was suddenly reminded of my Mother.

Those who know me from this blog know I was never close to my Mother and often resented her. She was what was referred to in the "good old days" as a manic-depressive, which in today's world, would be bi-polar.

And in my youth and ignorance, I never forgave her for that. Yes, I do know better now, but then, I didn't have many good, warm, wonderful memories of our life together...

But hearing that radio, in the wee still hours of that cool morning, drinking my "weak-artificially sweetened and non-dairily creamed coffee-like beverage" I thought about her.

She was never a TV watcher. She wasn't a crafter, nor a cook (she did cook, but I don't think she EVER enjoyed it) didn't like to read or talk on the phone, or play cards...

She didn't smile too much - not like these women, who, I'm almost certain were either drunk or drawn by a male artist..

But I know she did do most of that - I don't remember helping or really if my sisters had any real "house" responsibilities when she was home. ( she was quite often hospitalized for her depression) sisters must have had to bear the brunt of those chores when she was away..

I do remember her hanging clothes on the line...and sometimes I'd help her with that - I loved the smell of freshly-dried towels and sheets...still do, although I don't have a clothes line anymore, sad to say...

And I remember these pins - before the springy-ones - and a clothes-pin bag that was always filled and ready..

I never saw her do anything crafty - can't remember her ever reading a book although she did like Life magazines.
She didn't have any hobbies...didn't like talking on the phone, wrote an occasional letter, but the most vivid memory I have of her is sitting listening to the radio.
How odd is that? I mean, it's not like she passed when I was a child..she lived until my children were adults. Weird, huh?

She did like to dance....

No.... not as a ballerina, but little quick-stepped dance while her radio played. I think I remember her smiling then.

And she did like Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights. Oh, and Ed Sullivan on Sunday nights.

Anyway, it's funny what will spark memories...a smell, taste, or a radio on in the wee hours of the morning....
I'm sorry for the years of resentment. And I know now that to be in her world wasn't easy. It was frightening, disappointing and filled with broken dreams.
And if the radio took her to places that made her smile, I'm glad it was a gift she enjoyed.
And when I'm alone in the kitchen listening to the radio, I hope she sees me and knows that I did love her...


The Feathered Nest said...

Oh Colleen. What a wonderful post. So much in this world we cannot change. I'm sorry for your mother's illness and think it's a wonderful thing for you to have come to this realization about her ~ xxoo, Dawn

Betty said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mother! I think many of us were not as close to our mothers as we wished...didn't have the Jane Wyatt/Elinor Donahue ("Father Knows Best") relationship. When I think back on the difficult chores my mom dealt with (washing clothes on a scrub board in the bathtub, sprinkling, rolling, then ironing clothes (with lots and lots of ruffles!); baking without air conditioning in humid climates...etc....I really admire that she had time for us at all. My sad memories are fading, thank God, and the good ones are increasing! Love you.


Colleen, dear, I am weeping for you now for the Mother you never had. I also had a Mum who suffered from depression. What a great pity it is that we only now understand what torment they went through.
Hugs, Coll :-}

Jean said...

Beautiful post!

Irish Cottage Dreams said...

Colleen. This blog entry touched me.
I am so touched by your honesty.
It made me tear up for you and reflect on the relationship
that I had and didn't understand with my mother.
She was depressed and a recluse who didn't leave
the house for 10 years and then died when i was 22.
I resented the things she didn't do and always felt
I was alone without a mother. Only now
am I starting to understand and forgive.
My mother also found comfort
in the radio and television. I wonder how many
from that generation suffered this way?

Charmingdesigns said...

Oh Colleen, yes, there are those things we don't understand and can't change. My father for one, so sad for him that he doesn't want me or my daughter in his life. I don't know what he is suffering from but it isn't good. At least I can look back on some good times and remember him that way. Thanks for sharing your story.

Jan said...

Even though you had such a difficult time, you are now remembering the good things and that's so wonderful! Sometimes we have a tough time remembering the good stuff. This was a great tribute to your mother! Thank you for sharing it with us!


Mary said...

She knows...believe me. My mom passed away 8 years ago and I still pick up the phone to call her. I know, at that time, she's thinking about me. Mom's just know you love them.

~d said...

Thank you for sharing such an intense part of your past. How heartbreaking. As a mild depressive shook me up a little.

I also listen to the radio in the kitchen. I put it in my kitchen 3 weeks ago and I've loved every minute of it. Fills a void sometimes. I loved your post and I bet your mom did too..

love d


It wasn't until this last year I realized how much my Mom suffered with this awful disease...I am very thankful that my Mom is at rest now and away from her demons...may our mother's rest in peace.