Wednesday, February 06, 2008

My Mom

Pictured above is my Mom. She just turned 82 two weeks ago. I wanted to do a birthday post, but I was in Dallas and then I got so sick. My mom has very little gray hair and great skin. It’s an unbelievable phenomenon. Why do I have more gray hairs than she does? It’s because I take after my dad. He was gray when he was six. I’ve been dying my hair since I was in my late twenties.

She was born in Haiti and raised by her mom. Back then single moms were uncommon, but my grandma was a tough lady. When we came to the states, she spoke very little English. It was the first time she seen snow. She was a great seamstress. She could she a picture of a dress or blouse and reproduce it without a pattern. I always had the most fashionable clothes growing up. She worked making men suits and then moved on to work for lingerie designer. The timing could not have been more perfect because I was getting married that year. I had nice things for our honeymoon.

She showed me how to cook, clean and do laundry. She was tough, but loving. If I wanted something, I went to her first and she would then speak to my dad about it. Do you remember, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding?” Tom was amazed at how much it was similar to my upbringing.

She lives with my sister back East and I miss her. I call her every Saturday. She’s always so excited to hear from me. Each time I speak to her, I realize how much she’s slipping away. She has Alzheimer’s.

I’m grateful for the stories she told me when I was younger. Stories of her falling in love with my dad. Stories of things I did as a kid. Recipes shared from my childhood. I’m grateful because she doesn’t remember much now.

The last time I saw her she had a hard time remembering me. I speak to her all the time. I send her pictures she has framed in her room. She knows who I am when I call, but seeing me in person threw her off. It took everything I had in me not to cry. It took a good part of the day before she recognized me. God was good to me and heard my prayers. By the third day, she woke up and knew who I was right away. One of the biggest compliments my husband has paid me was that he told me I am a lot like my mom – kind, caring, loving and selfless. I love my mom. I will always remember her fondly even when she can no longer remember me.

I just wanted to share this picture from her birthday. She received this bear as a gift. She loves bears. I love her.


© Nadine Z. 2008

33 comments:

Art said...

Happy birthday to your mom. This was a lovely tribute!

LL said...

I feel so privileged to have met your mom a few years back. She has a very special place in my heart. Luckily, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Demara said...

I'm bawling.
That moved me to tears Nadine.
Don't do that!
haha
Thanks.
Your mom doesn't look 82 at all either!
I miss my mom.

Scarlet said...

Thanks for introducing us to such a wonderful lady, your mom. She's beautiful inside and out, and no, she does not look her age.

I'm glad you have wonderful memories of her and that she remembered you on the third day.

"The third day" reminds me of Christ. :)

Diane said...

Oh, Nadine, it broke my heart to read your beautiful tribute. What a beautiful gift in a mother...you have been given. I can only imagine your sadness when she becomes confused and does not recognize you. One thing I know for sure....you are in her heart, you have blessed her and continue to do so, you have been the joy that reflects in her smile! It is difficult as our bodies age and deteriorate, still, I believe that the heart always holds the love that has been shared. God Bless your Mom--what an amazing life...what an amazing woman. Now that you have shared her with us...I can see a lot of your Mom coming through in your writing. You make a good team!

Happy Birthday to your Mom!

Diane

P.S. So glad you are finally feeling better

Cherrye said...

Is your mom really in her 80s? In that picture? She is beautiful! Hang in there...

Penless Thoughts said...

Sweet and sad post, Nadine. Your love for your wonderful mother shines through brightly. I know it would make her very happy!!!!
Susan

Jen(n) said...

She is beautiful... you must take after her!

Dawn said...

What a great story! Thanks for sharing your wonderful mom with us today. It is hard to believe she's 82 with no gray hair. Amazing!

My grandma wasn't diagnosed with Alzheimer's - before the day - but the last time my dad saw her alive, he had visited with her all day. They had driven around to all the places she had lived in her life. She had great memories and shared them all day long. He left her on the sidewalk, waving to him. Then realized he'd forgotten his sunglasses. Went back to get them and she said,"Who are you?" She died before he got to see her again. He was sad. But he was able to officiate at her funeral, and was blessed, even though it was hard.

Tom Zawacki said...

She is an amazing woman with an amazing daughter. You are indeed a lot like her.

Tom

Knitting Mania said...

Such a loving tribute to your Mom...it brought me back to some wonderful memories of my mom. Enjoy and treasure every conversation you have with her Nadine...I miss my talks with my mom so much...
Blessings....Chris

Karolee said...

Happy Birthday to your mom! She is beautiful!

chelle said...

awww she is BEAUTIFUL! Oh my I so see you in her ... wow! Happy Birthday to your Mom!!

palmtreefanatic said...

cute pic! Happy Birthday to your mom! she sounds like a wonderful lady!

Sunydazy said...

Happy Birthday to a beautiful mother!
It must be very difficult to have her have alzheimers. May the Lord give you grace. It's wonderful that you have so many of her good qualities! Thank you for sharing such a lovely tribute.

Louise said...

WOW what a touching tribute!!! She sounds like a really special lady!
Love the bear pic!

Kate said...

"Her children arise and call her blessed..." Prov 31:28

:)

thepmsclub said...

what a beautiful women she is! and that bear is so cute!!!

come by and see the award we have up for you!

amydeanne

Shadraq said...

Your mom seems sweet. I was moved almost to tears.

Tammy said...

Nadine, this post almost had me in tears...such a beautiful tribute and what a beautiful woman she is!

My own mom turns 81 next month and we're hoping to move her close to us this year.

I can imagine just how hard it is to see that disease slowly move on her mind...but no matter what, her heart will always love you!

Doug Bagley said...

hey, found you on Scarlet's blog. My mom's name is Nadine so your remarks caught my eye. She was also born in the state of Washington. Small world.
I'll check out your book. I'm working on putting a collection of my stuff into a book.

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

Happy birthday to your sweet mom. She's beautiful - very few gray hairs??? No fair!!!! I know Alzheimer's is a very hard thing on family - my dad lived with it for 7 years before passing away in 1996. God bless you all.

Debz said...

Beautiful post. She looks amazing.
Happy Birthday to her.

Solitaire said...

Wow. Your mom is lucky to have you as her daughter and you to have her as your mom.

A Woman Who is: said...

Thanks for sharing your moms birthday with us. It is so sweet you call her every Sat. night. It must be hard not living closer. I am with my sis, treasure this time.

eph2810 said...

What a sweet tribute to your mom, Nadine. I know what you mean by missing your mom - I miss mine too. I think there is a special bond between moms and daughters.
Thank you so much for sharing about your mom.

The Edwards said...

Such a LOVING tribute to your MOTHER! Thank YOU for sharing her story with all of us! Teasure those wonderful memories...

Sandy said...

She sounds like a great person, Nadine! And thank you for sharing her w/us!
Sandy

jennifer said...

Happy Birthday. Oh Nadine, Love makes us vulnerable. I can hear the love and the pain in your words. This was a beautiful post - Jennifer

Shionge said...

Happy Birthday to your Mom Nadine, sorry I am few days late ya. Looking at her picture she doesn't look like 82 at all and I think we should all be like her when we are 82 :D

I can see that she is kind and loving, so sweet to have just a nice tribute about your Mom. I wanna be just like to her to my children too.

Have a wonderful day.

Cheri said...

A lovely post about your mom. It made me think of my grandmother (who had Alzheimer’s) and my own mom who is fighting (praying and believing for a miracle) a disease with no medical cure.

Ann(ie) said...

Happy Birthday to your beautiful mom. She sounds so impressive, kind and accomplised! I ADORED that movie....what a fun crazy loving family to be raised in!!!

Damselfly said...

Oh, what a great post. Your mom looks unbelievably young. She sounds cool.