January 17, 2014

Momma

This isn't what I intended to post about today. But then I read something on another blog that made me think about one of my most important memories from childhood.


My Momma was a working mom. She did this out of necessity and not any desire to be a career woman. All she ever really wanted to do was take care of her home and family. It just wasn't financially possible.

I remember very clearly one morning before school when I was maybe 10 or 11, feeling very emotional and wanting, no needing to spend the day with my Momma. I remember begging her to call in sick for both of us and while I know it must have been a big deal for her to miss that day of work, she did it. And I will never forget how relieved and happy and valued I felt that day. I can't remember exactly how we spent our time, although I'd give anything to be able to remember the details or to pick up the phone and call her and ask her about it, I do remember the feelings, cuddling and gratitude and that will have to be enough. Even now as I write this it brings tears to my eyes. But it is so important to remember, even the parts that hurt to remember because even the hurting is a gift.


When I was a freshman in high school we had moved to live with my Grandmother and for that one year, my mom didn't work outside of the home. It was the best year of my childhood. My brother had graduated and left home and took with him all the tension in our house. I remember walking up the hill to my Grandmother's house in the snow and opening the door and smelling freshly baked cookies. I remember the feelings of comfort, home and love all wrapped up together. There was a lot my mom didn't get right and there is a lot that she did. I took as much from one as the other and hope that I learned from both her mistakes and her successes although there is no doubt that I have gotten plenty wrong too.


Looking back I realize how very much these experiences shaped me into who and what I became and I am grateful for all of them. My childhood was not a storybook one. It was filled with hardship and insecurity but also a lot of love. And I learned from it which is why I appreciate every day of the life I've made for myself.


My Mom grew up in Northwestern Indiana outside of Chicago. She loved snow more than anyone I have ever met. It makes me so sad that she didn't get a chance to visit us here in our new home in this beautiful Village before she died. She would have fallen so in love. These pictures are for you Momma.

38 comments:

  1. A lovely, heartfelt post, Jen. Sending you hugs.

    xo
    Claudia

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  2. An utterly beautiful post. xxxxxxxx

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  3. Your mother would have been so happy with your gift to her.

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  4. I can't see through the tears. Your honesty, acceptance and love is beautiful!

    Leann

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  5. You've expressed the feelings of most mothers and daughters, I think. I need a kleenex.

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  6. Oh JJ. This is beautiful in so many different ways.

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  7. sweet story . . . crying here!

    I think it is interesting what we take away from our childhood. My mother also worked which in the 1950's was quite rare. My father was injured at work so she had to go to work. I hated it, and I was a stay at home mom until my children were school age because I wanted to be a mom who was home for her kids. I chose teaching so I would share a school schedule with my kids. My sister grew up in the same home as me, went back to work when each of her children were 1 month old - leaving them with mother who by that time had retired as a school secretary. My sister travels extensively for her work and even now at 68 is still working and is in Europe 3 weeks a month. She and I reacted very differently to having a working mother.

    Enjoy your children and creating special memories with them.

    BTW - our daughter recently moved back to town (4 houses away) and our son is looking at graduate school just 40 minutes away. Both have said they want to be close to us. We are going on a family ski trip next week. We must have done something right.

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  8. I'm very touched by your post today- a beautiful tribute to your mother. Actually, to all mothers. I love what you said about how there was a lot she didn't get right, and a lot she did. I think that's true for most of us- ourselves as moms, and also the moms we came from. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  9. A lovely tribute to your Mom ...

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  10. This is such a precious tribute Jen. I think as mothers all we ever hope is that our children grow up with love and fond memories of us. We all get some things wrong, it's a given, but your mother sounds like she got an awful lot right :>) Sending Hugs...

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  11. So sweet! What a great post to your Mom! Made me think of my own who had to go to work when I was young after my Dad fell off a roof breaking his hip and being off work for two years. She worked so hard and one of my favorite memories is walking over to her workplace, walking home with her and having her all to myself during that walk without my 5 brothers and sisters needing her too.

    Hope you have a great weekend. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. What a beautiful post, Jen. I think all mothers have regrets, but we're only human and do the best we can with the hand we're dealt. I was fortunate to be able to work just 2 days a week when our girls were young. I'll never have a huge retirement fund, but I have wonderful memories of raising our girls and I think they do to. There's no more important job than being a mom.

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  13. Beautiful. I have tears in my eyes. Your love for her is palpable. Thank you for this.

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  14. aww jen... what sweet words and memories you've shared about your mom... teary eyed here... thinking of you today, friend...
    hugs,
    angie

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  15. beautiful post about your mom Jen. hugs to you today :)

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  16. Beautiful pictures and a beautiful tribute. Your post brought back memories and expresses a deep love, thanks for sharing.

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  17. Oh, sweet friend, tears in my eyes, my throat is burning. What an amazing post to and about your momma. Hugs for you today, a beautiful snowy day.

    ~Shanon

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  18. What a beautiful, heartfelt post. My heart goes out to you.

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  19. May God Bless your heart!

    xoxo,
    Amy Jo

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  20. This is so touching on so many levels! Your love for your mama is so evident. It's the feeling as a mama that I always hope my kids feel! And also, because my daughter is 10, and I work (teach), and it positively kills me to leave her each morning, feeling like she needs me there….wish with all of my heart I could do it ….thanks for this precious post!

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  21. your pictures are beautiful and I would bet that your mother is smiling.........

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  22. That was beautiful, both the words and the photographs.

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  23. My sweet, sweet sister, my heart ached for you as I read this. I remember you telling me the story of playing hooky with her- it's those types of memories you get to cherish. You are one of the best mothers I know and much of that obviously had to come from her. These photos are beautiful and I'm sure she looks down on you everyday bursting with pride.

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  24. as a child, especially a teenaged girl child, you tend to dwell on the things that your mom did wrong.

    becoming a parent, brings so many gifts...maybe the greatest is the ability to finally see all of the things that your mother did right & to understand that most everything your mom did, even when it seemed to be awful at the time, was her just trying to get it all right, for you.

    beautiful & thoughtful post. thank you.

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  25. Jen- What a beautiful, poignant picture of your life you painted her, Jen. It left me with tears in my eyes and a huge lump of "longing for" in my throat. Bittersweet memories for sure. Your Mom would be very, very proud of the woman you have become- xo Diana

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  26. Your photographs are lovely, and you wrote a beautiful tribute to your mother. A scene, a word has the amazing ability to take us back to the past to remember, reevaluate and heal. Stay warm and enjoy your weekend, and lovely snow.

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  27. What a lovely, heartfelt post! Thanks for sharing.

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  28. Jen, tears blur my vision as I write this. I've been following your blog a very long time and my heart aches for you. I'm sure that your Momma is smiling down from heaven at the lovely snowy sight and glowing with pure joy at the beautiful woman that you are...inside and out. Big bear hugs, Yvonne

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  29. such a wonderful post…filled with so much beauty, love and reflection.
    touched me so.

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  30. I read this yesterday but knew my comment needed more thought than I was able to give at the time. What a beautiful post. Mother daughter relationships can be very complicated and this comes from someone who is both the mother and the daughter, so as I read your tender words and felt the longing for your momma my eyes filled with tears not only for you but for all of us who will at some point be without our mom's earthly presence. What a tender reminder to cherish our times together both with our moms but also with our daughters so that they too will remember us with the same longing. Beautiful pictures and beautiful words.

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  31. Jen. that is such a beautiful recollection of your childhood and your mum. I'm sorry you no longer have her. I lost my precious Dad just before Christmas, but still have my mum. love and hugs to you for sharing such a touching story. Jane x

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  32. Such a beautiful post......written from the heart.

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  33. First off Jen, thank you for the follow on Instagram.... I would've never have found you here. After reading about your mom, I couldn't help but comment to tell you how beautiful this post is. I lost my mom 13 years ago and some of the things you say are exactly how I felt about my mom.

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  34. What a touching post! First, what gorgeous pictures....snow is always more beautiful in pictures! I've been missing my Mom alot lately too. She's been gone almost 4 yrs now. So hard to believe sometimes! With 3 grown daughters and everything they are experiencing in their lives right now I could sure use my Mom to turn to. I know she's always with me in my heart...always, but I sure do miss picking up the phone and calling her! You have some great memories and when you think of those times, I'm sure your Mom is right there beside you!

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  35. Jen, sending love to you...what a beautiful post today and genuine. Life had so many up and downs, and you became such a beautiful young lady in the outcome. Stunning IN photos, if it wasn't so darn cold in South Bend i'd snap some myself! Three weeks ago took a plunge on sleet and still sore!! Stay cozy in your adorable abode!! Lori

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  36. oh Jen. what a beautiful and special memory. thank you for putting words to your memory and sharing it with us. wish i could give you a big hug.

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