Tuesday, November 20, 2012

15 Years

Today is the fifteenth anniversary of my Mom's passing.  It's weird that in just three years I will have spent half of my life without her. 

This anniversary is different almost every year.  Certain ones stick out in my memory for different reasons, usually because of their difficulty.  1998 was the first anniversary.  2001 was hard because everyone was still reeling from the September 11th attacks.  2007 was emotional because I was pretty certain James and I would get engaged soon and I was missing having a Mama to talk to about all the upcoming planning.  Last year was super emotional because I was pregnant.  Not only was I hormonal (haha) but like 2007, it was a momentous year and I was really missing my Mama - envious of those pregnant mamas who had a mama to talk to.  This year?  I'm praying it won't be so bad.  I think having Hudson will be a good distraction; then again being a mama now may make the void all the more prevalent.  Either way, God is good and was faithful to let me have my sweet Mom for 18 years. 

Things I remember about my Mom:

1) She LOVED my Daddy.  I never heard her say one negative thing about my Daddy.  Not that he was perfect, but she chose only to lift him up in my presence.  But Mom loved Daddy not only in word, but also in deed.  Almost everyday my Mom would help my Daddy put his shoes on in the morning and take them off in the evening.  My Dad is a big guy (6'3" and about 300#) and worked construction so he was often tired and had difficulty bending over to tie/untie his work shoes.  Even in my Mom's last years when she had lost a finger or two and was wheelchair bound (stupid diabetes) she'd wheel over and help Daddy with his shoes.  Some may view that as subservient, but she didn't - she was glad to serve him this way and it's a vivid memory I have of their marriage.

2)  She was super good with money.  Like crazy good at saving, bargain shopping, etc..  She took the responsibility for providing for her family and managing the house in this way very seriously.  Daddy always likes to tell the story of how Mama paid for a track of land they purchased with tens and twentys out of a mason jar - it was a couple grand.  (Yes, a mason jar - remember, I'm from the country and that's how we roll).  She was frugal, but not cheap and always generous with gifts to others.

3)  She was quite talented.  She was a great baker of sweets (not a good thing when you're diabetic). I have many memories of her baking scrumptous, yummy desserts as a kid.  Almost always from scratch, by the way.  She was such a good cook (not just a baker) and I'm sad I wasn't interested in learning from her when I was a teen.  She could also sew and made almost all of my clothes until I hit 3rd grade, at which point I wanted "store bought" clothes because they were cooler.  I think that's the greatest tragedy of losing a parents as a teen - I was simply too self-absorbed and ornery as a teen to care about learning from her. 

I have a ton of family pictures but sadly Mom's not in many.  I guess she was the one taking the pictures :)  But enjoy these pictures I did find of my mama - Paulette Louise Gibbons Proctor (1/26/1946 - 11/20/1997)

My mom and her mom, Mawmaw Gibbons.

My mom with her Grandparents Hill.

Circa 3rd grade - wasn't she a cutie?

Circa 5th grade.

Circa 6th grade.

The whole Gibbons family - Mom (front) my uncle Benjamin (behind Mom)
Pawpaw Gibbons and Mawmaw Gibbons in the back.

I'm guessing early high school?  Check out those cat-eye glasses.

Not the best quality since it's a picture of a picture; but this is by far my
favorite picture of Mom and me - so happy!

The back of this photo says, "Melissa took this" in my little kid handwriting - haha.

I had some pictures of Mom from her last years, but she was sick then and those pictures make my heart sad so I'll stop with this one above.  This is how I remember her when I think of her - smiling and happy.  

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