Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Mom Pauline

Yesterday my Mom turned 80. She looks 30 years younger and we are frequently mistaken for sisters rather then mother and thing I am glad I inherited from her...her great looks and a no wrinkle zone on her face. My mom has been a joy to be around for many years. Over the years we became not only mother and daughter but wonderful friends. I learned a lot from her and would like to share some of those things here.

She raised us with the aspect that your name was your greatest asset and that we were to never do anything to damage the reputation of that name. Reputation was the one thing that she held dearest to her heart. It was very important that no one think badly of her. My mom always had faith in God first then family. No matter how far off the beaten path we, as children, would stray she never gave up on us. No matter what was going on in her life, she always held her head high and with dignity.

Tradition was everything to her. She still does a lot of the same things that she did as a young girl. You know on Mondays, there is homemade bread baking, laundry is being done, and petit pains were on the menu for lunch. Christmas cakes are made on the first Monday of September and tourtiere's on the first Saturday in December. Walls are all washed in every April and October. Bedding is changed from winter ones to summer ones and back again on the 1st day of spring and fall.

Whenever someone had a baby, moved into town, or passed away, she would be the first one there with a meal. She gives to everyone unselfishly without asking for anything in return. Her nature was to give not receive making it difficult for her to ask for help when she needed it. Even 2 years ago when I was released from the hospital from my double mastectomy, she came over and washed all my walls, made a slew of meals to go into the freezer and every day would take my hand and "drag" me in the bedroom so I could have a nap.

She has worked very hard all of her life and still continues to do so. Just a couple of weeks ago she told me she had spent 2 full days raking their entire property. She went without so we could have. When there was pie for dessert, and even though there was 8 of us and 8 slices, if Dad wanted 2nds she would go without so someone else could have another piece. As young children and teenagers, we taught she was a strict mother, that we had no freedom, that when our friends were off playing after school, we had to do chores and hated it.

But those learned lessons have played a major role in the way we now shape our lives. My brothers and I (and our sister when she was alive) are all hard workers,we take pride in our work, we give to others asking nothing in return, in our careers we go to work early, stay late and put in a full day's work.Our children, and for some of us our grandchildren, are all the most important thing in our lives. Family is EVERYTHING to us.

We had our share of scraps growing up, but as adults our family tree is unbreakable no matter what life throws at it. We may bend with the weight of troubles etc but that tree never breaks. Although we didn't always get a lot of "I love you's" growing up (different era) we learned from that and never go a day without telling our families we love them.

It would take too long to list all of her qualities, but I do know she has always been there for us in different ways. We are all going to be together on the May long weekend to hold a special surprise 80th birthday party for her and I had asked my brothers to tell me what characteristic trait they thought they inherited from her. First I was going to just say what I thought those were but I decided to ask them. Funny thing was, what they gave me as answers were not at all what I had thought.

Life has not easy for my mom, but through it all she kept her head held high. She has had to bury her husband, her parents as well as my sister. But she continues to be strong for us all and I am so grateful for all that she has taught me. She continues to inspire her and I look forward to this coming weekend where our family and her close friends will be together to celebrate her 80th birthday.


Carmen said...

That is so lovely!! Happy birthday to her!!