My Grandmother, My Mother, then Me

I have these moments when it becomes clear that I am not removed from the way I was raised and the things that I have learned about love.

So my mother has had the art of being able to shop for me since I was a child. I
f she went shopping and brought me back a paper bag with a belt I was so appreciative and so happy that she brought me something back. Even today at almost 50, my mom can go to the goodwill or thrift shop and find trinkets for me and be spot on. I love love love those moments. I have learned that those moments are I love you moments. I have not always had the best relationship with my mom but we fixed it and I am so grateful for that. With that being said, I can accept the goodies my mom gathers for me and I appreciate them wholeheartedly.

Before my dearest Ms. Bessie passed away, it was always a pleasure to travel to Tuscaloosa Alabama to see her. When she knew that we were coming she would start the process of gathering things for me. She would have an array of things; clothes, shoes, household items, you name it, it might have been in the several bags that she had stashed around the house. It was not that she thought I didn’t have dishes as she sent me home with several sets, it was about saying I love you and I am thinking about you. I have at least 4 sets or more of dishes she either found or saved for me to have and now that’s she gone I appreciate them so much more. There is one particular set that she said she wanted me to have because it was the first set she purchased. I must state that I am not eh oldest grandchild but I appointed myself as the favorite. So if she said that these were special dishes to her and she thought of me when she got them or these were special or important to her then by all means they are important to me.

Now me. My daughters are grown up and on their own. Now sadly I can’t do for them as my grandmother and mom did for me. They are not those kind of ladies. So showing them the love as grandma and mom did me proves a little more challenging. Now let me pause here and say that I made sure that I SAY I Love YOU to my girls. My mom and I didn’t always have that. My grandmother and mom had their own issues with love and saying it. I wanted better and more for my relationships with mom children. So I make sure I say it but how do I do that little something extra that was done with me? Now let me state that it is not mandatory to have to do anything for them but in my mind the gestures were just a solidification of the relationship and again, even as old as I am now I love getting goodies from my mom. So my youngest. I love her but she is a pain in my ass, in a good way. She is the side of me that drives me crazy if that makes sense. I can’t and won’t anymore try to shop for her. I will only have my feelings hurt once or twice trying to do a good thing. So her I love you’d come in the form of household items since she is not an independent adult living on her own. Today’s I love you involved some powder and liquid bleach. I know, it’s bleach. She didn’t have any, I had the powder which my new washer can’t use and the bleach well, I keep extra so there ya go. For her it might not have been anything more than bleach but for me it was a little hey aI miss you and I love you. Her spirit is always with me and she makes me laugh. I can admit I miss having her in the house but she is only 17 minutes away (yes she clocked it) and only a phone call away.

My oldest, another version of me. She is the part of me that enjoys food (she likes to cook-I like to eat), she will color with me and we can just chat – unforced. However, she is hard to love on with stuff as well. Thrifting is apparently in out blood stream cause we all do it. Her boyfriend even does it so how cool is that. Now every now and then I can find a trinket that I am almost positive she would like. Odds are usually against me on other things. My girls. On. My. Nerves. I have had the joy of being with my oldest since May. She is a traveling nurse and she is living in Washington State. She was able to get a bid here in Cincinnati so we are having a great time. What makes this more special is that she was not raised by me due to the divorce of her father and I and so this is the first time in 30 years that we have spent an inordinate amount of time together. We are just doing us. We are seeing the sights, museums, going to local restaurants and just making the most of our time together. I was able to at least get her (and him) a gift for their condo which works two fold for me. I know that she has some cook wear that she will use and that when she uses them I hope that it will invoke a smile and great memory.

I have said all of that to say this.

We must love people in whatever way that we love. We can’t love them any other way. We must allow ourselves the freedom and have the knowledge of knowing how we are best at showing and loving people. It should be able to be multifaceted not just I actions but also in words. We must love in the best manner for the people that we love. Rather it be in little things like bleach or sitting at the able coloring. My mother used to say love is what it does. As a child I didn’t understand what that even meant but now as an adult, I certainly understand. Love IS Bleach, Love IS dishes, Love IS writing a note on a dry erase board. Love is calling just to “not want anything” and hold the phone. Love IS what it does!!!

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