Memories of My Mother

Desks

I remember being in the car with my mom while we sat in the parking lot of a church down the street from our house. The church had a school attached to it that was shutting down, so they were giving away all the desks. We had gone there to pick up one for my sister and I. While my mom and I waited in the car for my dad to pick out a good one, he held up one that was totally dirty with (I think?) crayon drawn all over it. My dad was laughing and my mom was in some kind of mood because she rolled her eyes at my dad and said something indicating that he needed to hurry up.

Praying

I remember being in the entryway to the kitchen between the side of the oven and the cabinets, and my mom was hunched down to be at eye level to me. She was begging me to pray to accept Jesus into my heart. She was saying something along the lines of “please Julie, I want to know that I will see you again someday.” Being the brat I am, and angry because I knew she was dying, I refused. She was very disheartened.

Coffee Mug

I remember my mom being in the hospital and lying in her bed.  Someone had taken me down to the hospital gift shop to pick out a gift for her.  I had chosen a coffee mug.  Back in the room I filled up the mug with coffee and wanted to bring the mug to her.  I remember her telling my dad to not let me hold it myself because I would spill it.  Sure enough, I spilled it.

Coffee Mug

I remember my mom being in the hospital and lying in her bed.  Someone had taken me down to the hospital gift shop to pick out a gift for her.  I had chosen a coffee mug.  Back in the room I filled up the mug with coffee and wanted to bring the mug to her.  I remember her telling my dad to not let me hold it myself because I would spill it.  Sure enough, I spilled it.

Vacuuming

I remember my mom vacuuming the kitchen.  She was just using the hose attachment.  I was wearing my nightgown and she jokingly put the vacuum on it so it sucked up a little of my nightgown.  I remember this terrifying me and thinking that she was trying to hurt me.

Halloween

I remember my mom dropping me off at my preschool around Halloween and us getting there and realizing it was Halloween and we were supposed to wear out Halloween costumes that day.  I remember being upset, not sure if she went home to get my costume or not.

Play Oven

Our friend’s of the family eight year old daughter had just died by accidentally strangling herself while playing on a play slide in their basement.  This naturally freaked my parents out and made them a little over-cautious.  I was playing outside one day with one of those Fischer-Price play ovens.  It had a fake phone on it attached with a long string.  I remember my mom taking the phone and tying a big knot in the string so that it was not long enough to strangle anyone with.

Nursing Katherine

I remember walking in to my parent’s bedroom and my mom was sitting in a chair nursing my sister Katherine.  I remember her feet were dry and cracked and she let me pick a little of the dead skin off.

New Van

I remember us buying a new car, a burguny minivan.  I remember my mom and dad telling me it was used which confused me to much, how were we buying a new, used car?  The concept that someone had driven our “new” car before did not make sense with me.  I remember being at the dealership and one of my parents opening up the trunk of the car and a half-drunk Pepsi bottle (the old school kind that was actual glass, because this was 1987 or 1988) was rolling around in the back.  They both had a laugh about it but this kind of creeped me out.

Coloring Napkins

I remember being in the basement of our house with my mom and my older sister Claire.  We had a little kid’s table down there any my mom gave us some cheap, paper, napkins to color on with crayons.  Our task was to color in the different patterns that were on the napkins.

Mopping

I remember my mother mopping our basement.  At that time it had black and green linoleum tiles.  Most of my memories of this basement are of it being carpeted, so I must have been very young at this time.  I remember maybe having my own little mop and I was helping her, or me using her mop to help.

Swimming Pool

I remember being at the swimming pool with my mom and I was with her on one side of the pool.  She encouraged me to swim across the 4 feet all by myself.  I remember being very scared to do so, and being so happy when I did and then swam back again to her.

Neighborhood Ladies

I remember walking out with her to the center of our cul-de-sac where she met up with a bunch of other ladies from the neighborhood.  I guess they had had a get together at our house recently and someone had left a serving dish or spoon or something so they all congregated in the circle to see who’s it was.  Not sure why it was that important that they all pow pow in the circle.

Mickey Mouse Pancakes

I remember her cooking Mickey and Minnie mouse pancakes for us.  They were regular pancakes but for Mickey they had two circles for ears, and for Minnie they also had two triangles for a bow.  I remember sitting at the tall kitchen table and her serving them to us.

Pots and Pans

I remember being on the floor in the kitchen and pulling ever single pot and pan out of the oven drawer and banging on them with wooden spoons and having the time of my life.  My mom obviously was not as thrilled and made it clear that I was to stop.

Running Naked

I don’t remember this, but apparently after my mother’s funeral while all our family and friends were gathered in the parking lot of the funeral home I took off all my clothes and started running around the parking lot and no one could catch me.  It’s kinda of funny; explains a lot of my personality now.  It’s also sad because I was obviously acting out how out of control I probably felt my life was at the moment.

The Gym

I remember going down the stairs of a gym that was in a local strip mall by our house and my mom dropping me off at the childcare area.  So weird driving by that same gym nowadays.

Driving by the Hospital

I remember being in my car seat in our minivan and we were driving down the road by the hospital.  I think I remember it because it is sort of a hilly road and I got the feeling in my stomach you get when the car goes down a hill fast.

ATM

I remember being in my car seat in our red minivan when my mom went through the drive-thru ATM.  I remember exactly which bank it was too, the one at the corner of Lee Highway and Harrison Street in Arlington, Virginia.  She got some money from the teller and I got a lollipop.  I remember thinking how great that was that you could just drive up to the bank and get however much cash you needed, and why wasn’t everyone rich then?

Jumping on the Bed

I remember my older sister and I had just gotten out of the bath and we were jumping up and down on my parent’s bed butt naked.  My mom was spraying us with baby powder and I remember it was just about the funnest thing ever; we were all, my mom included laughing hysterically.

Jumping on the Bed

I remember my older sister and I had just gotten out of the bath and we were jumping up and down on my parent’s bed butt naked.  My mom was spraying us with baby powder and I remember it was just about the funnest thing ever; we were all, my mom included laughing hysterically.

New Roof

I remember us coming home one day and a new roof was being put on the house.  There was a pile of old shingles in the front walkway and my mom walked on top of them.  She got a nail in her shoe and I remember being very scared that she had hurt herself badly.  I’m not sure if she did or it just simply got in her shoe.

Screaming

When I was two I hurt myself very badly.  We were having the basement recarpeted and because of this the heavy, wood and glass basement storm door had been taken off it’s hinges and was propped against the frame of the door.  I remember walking downstairs to the basement and seeing my grandpa (mother’s dad) sitting on the couch watching Wheel of Fortune, and I remember turning left and walking to the other side of the basement.  I wanted to go outside so I grabbed the knob of the door, and not being attached to the frame it fell over on top of me.  My head went through the glass and it cut my head open and cut all around my neck.  I remember my grandpa struggling to pull the door off of me, it dropping and landing on my ankle.  Next I remember being in the upstairs bathroom with my dad while he cleaned off the blood and my mother standing outside the bathroom screaming.

I went to the ER and left with some stitches on my head (and a scar on my scalp I have to this day) and a sprained ankle.  I remember being excited to be able to crawl again.  I also vividly remember being at the hospital with my dad and them taking me into a room for what I now know was an MRI.  At the time I remember being terrified going in the tube because I thought I was being sent down one of those conveyer belts in a factory that saws logs.  I guess from watching cartoons I had in my mind that at the other end of the MRI tube was a saw and I was being lead to my death.  I remember the feeling of complete sadness knowing that my dad was allowing me to die.

Safeway

I remember getting lost once in Safeway. One minute she was beside me in the produce section and the next she was gone.  I remember sheer panic for a few moments and then she found me.  I had only wandered away to the other side of a thing of apples but I remember that feeling of terror vividly.  I found her, or she found me just a few moments later.

I remember being at Safeway again on a separate occasion.  She was chaperoning on a preschool field trip to tour Safeway.  At the end of the tour she was going to leave to go home and I was going back to preschool with my class.  I remember being so sad to leave her.  I also remember cutting my hand on some chipped paint that was coming off the metal rails that they have out front of the grocery store.