Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sisters and Winged Pigs

Omigosh! It's been almost a month since I last posted.  I've had a very laissez-faire attitude to much in my life lately. And no, I don't mean the economic kind of laissez-faire, but the 'nother kind, where I've allowed myself a deliberate abstention from doing certain things. (Am I taking too broad a poetic license on the phrase?)

Daisy, though, has done a great post on our weekend. You can check that out here. She also took some terrific photos; me, not so much.
This is the bed and breakfast where we stayed. It was wonderfully situated a block from Main Street.
The entrance to the courtyard on the side of the house. We spent a lovely Sunday morning in our jammies out here with our coffee.
This bedroom I shared with Billie and Daisy. Jeanie, our eldest, stayed in a BR by herself since her biological clock is on different rhythm than ours. And Ginger and Alice were in the BR on the third floor, bless their hearts.

I doubt any of you can understand how wonderful my sisters are, how truly extraordinary. I use that word purposefully because on our way back from the weekend, Ginger and I in one car since we both live down here and the rest in li'l Alice's car as they all live in north Texas, Ginger was talking about how extraordinary she found the sisters and how ordinary she believed she was. I was astounded. Reminds me of Burns: O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! (O would some Power the gift to give us To see ourselves as others see us!) And yes, I realize he was speaking of a socially pretentious woman, but I maintain the reasoning stands. It's as easy to overlook your own wonder as it is to magnify it.

To prove my point: as homework, we were all supposed to write about how we missed our mother. (I say supposed to because I didn't. I find that difficult to do. Sorry, Alice.) Ginger did a bang-up job, as did the rest of my sisters. She, though, prefaced hers by claiming not to be a writer. I disagree. 

The Mama Poem 
This poem today is for our Mom,
No doubt, there is no other
Who'd love us all and do without.
You bet, that was our mother!

I miss her little twinkle toes
A dancin' she would go.
She'd cut a rug 
And break the hearts
Of men on every row.

She'd laugh and sing
Before the dawn
And wake our asses up.
On summer morns
We'd grump and groan.
She just ignored our guff.

Porch lights would "flick"
When boys were there,
The signal to come in.
God bless her soul.
She did her best
To help us not to sin.

She'd fight a bear
For one and all 
And never blink an eye.
'Member that fine day she did.
She made the neighbor cry.
Mom's name was known both far and wide
Within our neighborhood.
There was no doubt
There was a swath
Where Gracie Brown once stood.

She never said "I can't do that."
Went climbing on the roof.
She went to school and walked the stage
What more is needed proof?

She left us oh, so long ago.
She left us all alone.
But what she did that fateful day
Was make the sisters strong.

What was it that she gave to us
Upon the day she left?
Our hearts, they broke.
Our tears did flow.
She'd planned "The gift" herself.

It wasn't until later
We knew what she had done.
She made us better sisters
For now we're all for one.

The trials and tribulations
the woman did endure.
She's finally up in heaven
Safe and sound, secure.

Oh, Mom, she wasn't perfect. 
But Lordy, nor am I.
I know she's looking down on us.
She's waiting upon high.

I wish she could be with us.
To hear us laugh and sing.
That always made her happy
In sunshine and in rain.

I'd like to say before I go
To bed and nighty, night.
There is one thing I know for sure
She did do something right!

P.S. I am her sunshine, you know! 

How cool is that?

There are some inside jokes, some perhaps needing no explanation, others that do. In her sixties, Mama actually did repair her own roof and walked the stage for her AA degree--after dropping out of school in the eighth grade! And yes, she really got in a cat-fight with a neighbor over what she perceived as said neighbor's mistreatment of one of her children. The memory of that always embarrassed her--she truly was a gentle woman.

As to the last line in the poem, that comes from a card we found while clearing out Mama's things. It was from Ginger, and on the outside Mama had written, "You are my sunshine." According to Ginger, that proves she was Mama's favorite.

To Ginger, I say, "Get in line, lady girl. I've got seniority." Or, loosely translated, when pigs fly!



I CANNOT read this poem without crying. It sooooo perfectly describes Mom.

One more word of explanation re: the poem. Sometimes when we got together, Mom would get a puzzled but proud look on her face and say "I must have done something right!" Being a mother, I understand this sentiment. Sometimes the mistakes you made along the way (perceived or real) have a tendency to haunt you. Mom didn't have a husband who could say, "Grace! Of course you did plenty of things right" and then he could have pointed them out to her. The steadfastness, the undying love, the sacrifice, etc etc. But Mom always seemed puzzled by how well her children turned out.

And we did, didn't we!

TexNan said...

I thought I 'splained that, Daisy. Musta been in an alternate version. Story I like best about Mama's reaction to how her children turned out is when she went to Pete's house--for anyone reading who isn't family, Pete was the second oldest brother. She looked around and said, "I never dreamed one of my children would live in a rich man's house." (Which begs the question: Is my house chopped liver? Must be Sunny's decorating style, right?)

Amanda said...

Mom told me about the poem... Didn't keep me from crying when I read it though. Thanks for posting it. :-)