With Mother’s Day quickly approaching I’m thinking about my own mother and how much I miss her. It’s been about 15 years since she passed away. I remember the way she got up at 5:00 a.m. every morning energetically starting her day. She had a routine; one day would be for washing clothes. The next day was devoted to yardwork and so on. Growing up I used to think, “My goodness, how boring doing the same chores every single week.” But, here I am today doing just that. Now I have a set schedule starting from 6:00 a.m. in the morning. I’ve learned from my mom that a weekly schedule is how you get things done! You wake up each morning knowing what you would be doing for the rest of the day.
Other things I’ve learned from my mother was how to be organized and how to have a great work ethic. Although she was not well educated, she must have honed her skills somehow because we always had a very neat and well managed house. Everything had a place, a home. Nothing was left on the floor. You could also eat off my mom’s kitchen floors; it was so nice and clean. I remember my mom telling me how to save money by cooking my own meals. “That’s the only way you can control your money”, she would say. “There’s not too many more ways you can control your bills.” We weren’t poor, but there wasn’t too much extra money, from what I can remember. Somehow my mom made it work.
It was surprising that she could tackle everything in a day/week because she used to babysit at least three children at any given time. The kids started to arrive at our house at about 6:30 a.m. As soon as she received each of them, they were fed, changed and all tidied up. Remarkable! By the time I left for school I remember the kids playing in our living room just having a great time. Back in the day my mom charged a fee, if I remember correctly, of only $250/month. Unbelievable, especially since her hours ran from 6:30 a.m. to at least 6:00p.m. daily! This fee also included meals.
I remember my mother loved to watch her soap operas -- As the World Turns and The Young and Restless. If I were home for whatever reason, I knew not to bother her from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. That was her time to relax. And, as it happens, the kids were napping at that time. How convenient! Yup, everything ran like clockwork.
Another fond memory I have is how she used to love to eat McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, French Fries, and a Coke (the real Coke). I remember her calling me up at work, “Jan pick me up McDonald’s on your way home from work. I’m hungry.” I never asked her what she wanted. I already knew, so predictable. How I miss that. Another thing I often think about is my mom and rice. Yes, rice! Is it that generation, or just my mom? “Jan, you coming home for dinner? I need to know how much rice to cook.” This was her daily mantra, having to know how many cups of rice to cook. Fast forward 20+ years….I finally get it. Cooking the rice is important!
My mother was blessed to become a grandmother to one grandson at the age of 76. Yes, she waited quite a while to become one. She lived until Jetson was 12 years old (so young). It still bothers me to this day that she didn’t get to see him graduate from high school and go to college. However, she did encourage him to play sports; baseball, basketball and volleyball. Jetson was her life. When Jetson was born she became a different person; a lot more mellow. Christmases was the best…for all of us. It’s nothing like seeing your mom and your son opening those gifts on Christmas. Just the smiles on their faces was enough for Randal and me. In fact all the ‘firsts’ was amazing for her. Jet’s first words, his first steps, Pre-Kindergarten, first game, etc. Jetson brought her great joy and we’re very thankful that she got to have 12 great years with him! We were even fortunate enough to take a family trip with grandma to Disneyland when Jetson was 4 years old. She had never been to Disneyland in her life and we had a great time. But, of course we made a stop to Las Vegas before coming back home to Hawaii, for her.
I can definitely see my mother helping me with my Ju-Mui Ice Pop business. Her organizational skills would really come in handy with all the various aspects of my daily responsibilities. I can just see her setting up some kind of system for putting the seed into each bag or sticking on the labels. She would be great for stamping and putting together all those hundreds and hundreds of boxes too. But, how would I tell her what to do? Would she even listen to me since I’m her daughter? That would be interesting…a daughter telling her mother what to do. I can’t see her recognizing me as “the boss”. Or, I can see her working with my husband at the kitchen. She would be strong enough to stand on her feet for 4 hours at a time. She could help with the pouring, the sealing, and freezing. Wouldn’t that be something, her taking orders from Randal? Smile. Yes, she would definitely be a huge asset for us.
My mother passed away after only four months from being diagnosed with cancer. Although it was quick, God blessed our time together and gave us the opportunity to have some good talks. Since I’m the only child it was my responsibility to take care of her. Our son was given the opportunity to show grandma much love and compassion as well.
For everyone who is blessed to have their mother, treasure her. She’s the only mother you have. It’s an extra layer if you have children. What a blessing grandparents are! Although Jet is 27 years old, he still misses his grandmother terribly.