I had to go to the drug store tonight to pick up a few things and I got quite distracted on the cosmetics aisle. I probably only spent about 15 minutes looking, but it made me think of my mom. When I was a teenager, my dad worked in one or the other of the family’s businesses as a truck driver, taking two runs a week up to Atlanta to pick up produce. One of the runs was over Saturday night/Sunday. So, many times when my younger brother went on Dad’s run with him, Mom and I would hang out together. I’d help her get her materials ready for Sunday school (she taught the 3 year olds).
By the time we were done getting the arts and crafts stuff finished, it was usually fairly late. Even though we had to get up early the next morning, we’d head over to the 24 hour Albertsons on Apalachee Parkway in Tallahassee. (Publix was our favorite grocery store, but Albertsons had more cosmetics - and they were open longer.) We lived in the west end of town, so getting to Albertsons required a trip to the other side of town - not that Tallyland is all that big! We’d usually pick up a treat for a midnight snack - most often lemon meringue pie - and then head over to the cosmetics. We checked out everything, from eye shadows, to blush, to nail polish and went through all the different brands and then pick up a few things to experiment with.
Hindsight is definitely 20/20, because now I know my mom probably had only marginal interest in our trips to look at make up - she went because she enjoyed spending time with me. Mom was never into girly things like dressing up and make up, doing hair, etc. She liked to feel good about the way she looked, but she put less importance on it than I did. I tended to be a fairly “typical” teenage girl who was overly absorbed with how I looked, never leaving the house without being made up and “looking good”. “Looking good” is relative since I doubt I had a good sense of what actually suited me in those days.
Now that Mom is gone, the memories I have of those times with her - going shopping, helping her find clothes and makeup I “approved” of, enjoying our guilty pleasures (mmm…pie) - mean so much more to me now that time has altered my perception of them. Like any mother and daughter, we had difficult times, but we were so fortunate to come through them with greater love and respect for each other. Before she died, my mother was my best friend (next to my husband). I’m so thankful that I developed that closeness with her and maintained it during the years after I moved to Canada.
If I can look back in 20 years and feel that I’ve been even half as good to my child(ren) as my mom was to me and my brothers, then I think I will have done a pretty decent job. She was truly an amazing lady and I miss her more than words can ever adequately express.
This post was based on the prompt “Ode to your mother…write about a special memory you have of your mom in honor of Mother’s Day.” from Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop.
I originally posted this April 25, 2009. It is the perfect memory for this prompt.