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Mary Jo

Mary Jo Remembers Her Mom


Mary Jo wrote this in 1995 as an assignment in a class she took.   


Memories of My Mom and the Gifts She Gave To Me

I remember sitting upon her lap with my head resting against her breast.

We rocked back and fourth on the sunny porch as I was soothed by the muffled humming coming from her chest into my ear.

Mom gave me a puppy wrapped in a doll blanket when I was five.  His name was Pat and he was all mine for 14 wonderful years.

The teeter totter she provided for me was my only playground equipment in our yard---I’m an only child, now I understand why.

The sound of her washer as it swished the clothes and slopped water all over the basement floor.  She made me laugh as she wore big rubber boots and as she chased the washer all over during its spin cycle.

The smell of furniture polish, Bruce Wax and the roar of the sweeper as she pushed it, pulled it, bumped it into things and scooted screeching chairs across the floor.


A scarf tied like a present of pin curls upon her head.  A huge kettle of blue colored starch being stirred on the stove.  Cooking spoons scraping along the inside of pots filled with mashed potatoes, peas, corn, pudding and a roaster of chicken.

The way she used silly voices and sounds as she read stories to me.  Sometimes she would read really fast and skip over the pages of stories I requested too often.  We would laugh and laugh about these speeded up stories.

At bedtime, right after my bath I was served some bread and milk sprinkled with sugar.  Most of the time it was prepared in my “Captain Video Mug”.

Seeing her in the morning, calling out for her during the day---knowing for sure she would answer me.

Cleaning me up with fresh clothes, the smell of Pamolive soap on my skin and the pain from her trying to comb through my long tangled curls.

Waiting on the front porch for Dad to come home.  Smelling our dinner sneaking through the screens of the open windows.

Getting dressed up to catch the city bus downtown Lancaster for a day of shopping capped off with an ice cream soda and a new sparkling ring from the dime store.

Mom’s hair so black that it shone a deep blue in the sun.  Her eyes the color of root beer.  Max Factor Clear, clear red lipstick framing her white smile.

First day of school butterflies eased by walking to school with my new Hop-a-long Cassidy lunch box in one hand and the warm soft touch of her holding my other hand.


The way Mom celebrated my first learned word-Look.  I could read it, spell it, write it and use in a sentence.  She was very silly about my new word.  We wrote it everywhere.

Wetting my pants during school in the first grade.  She brought me fresh panties, a hug and the chance to laugh about my mistake and how to prevent it from happening.

Junior high blossoming of womanhood and the comical way she reported the horrifying changes that were taking place in my body and my life.

Boys, dances, dresses that needed a hem.  Fur blended sweaters and Channel No. 5.  The sound of my first high heeled pumps clicking on the tiled floors.  Stretching nylons with seams up my skinny legs.  She was always right there…

Moving my senior year of high school was difficult but she made it seem more like a new adventure.  College and going away from home.  Marriage and 3 babies, 4 states and more miles apart.  Loving my Dad through his final days.  Knowing we would always be us, like the Three Bears.

Mom gave to me a treasure of memories filled with colors, fragrances and sounds that can whisk me back to the feelings of well being.


Using this legacy every day of my life to wrap this blanket of love around all those people God has entrusted in my care.  Because I was taught how to create the fiber, the softness, the warmth, the aromas, the touch of feeling safe, loved and celebrated.


If only everyone could be blessed with someone in their life whose joy is truly knowing that they are alive.  All would be well, peace would have a chance.

Only those with a reservoir of precious treasured memories to dip into when the road gets rough can avoid going beyond the boundaries of the high standard of morals we revere.

I pray that every living person my have someone to hold them,  When they call out, someone to answer them, When they tell a joke, someone to laugh and when they eat, someone to share their meal.

These are the legacy of gifts my Mother gave to me and that I share with you.

I love you so much my pretty, funny and painfully  missed sweet Mother.  I can only hope that I have passed on to my children and to their children the priceless joy that you have given to me.

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