Showing posts with label MOTHER. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MOTHER. Show all posts

Friday, May 8, 2009

A SOUTHERN LADY

WARNING: WORDY, SELF-INDULGENT POST!




This post is probably not going to interest anybody else (unless my sister, Julie, is reading this) (I guess that implies that I think other posts I do are interesting! I do try to post things that are a little more relevant to others than this post). I felt a need to post this, so please forgive me for indulging myself today. You may want to just skip to the end of this post, where I discuss a topic that caused more than a few questions on my Tablescape Thursday post! I am, of course, talking about "epergnes"!

Edited to Add: After I published this post, I learned that there is a lovely event going on in Blogville. "A Mother's Day Tribute" is being sponsored by Foley's Follies, so I am going to link this post to that event. I just read her post about her mother and grandmother, and it is both touching and humerous. Please go by and read it, and get the links to other Mother's Day tributes.



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1910-2000
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My mother was one of the most gentle, caring, loving, and kind people I've ever known, and she was such a LADY. (Of course, I'm a little prejudiced about this subject).


I never heard my mother say an unkind word about anybody. If I came home with gossip, she gently pointed out that we cannot believe everything we hear, and that we should not repeat anything negative about anyone, whether it is true or not.




I was 3 1/2 years old when I was adopted. In the 50's, when I was adopted, and maybe today too, people always said to adopted children.. "you are special, because your parents picked you". That worked for awhile, but then my grandmother told me that when our parents realized they were not going to be able to have children, they decided they would adopt a child. Because of their age, they didn't think they should adopt an infant. The orphanage contacted them and told them that they had sisters who were about the age my parents wanted, but they would not allow the sisters to be separated. That is how I ended up being raised with my biological sister, who is one year younger than me. We never knew which of us they would have taken if the agency had allowed us to be separated, so one of us really wasn't "picked", and my sister and I will never know which of us it was!





(Don't you just love these outfits-especially those shoes and Mother's glasses?)

Mother was always supportive, encouraging, and loving about anything my sister and I did. She made us feel that she was proud of us and of our accomplishments, no matter how small they were (and believe me, mine were small, and few!)

If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you probably know that I don't have much self confidence, and you probably know that I do a lot of self-analyzing (probably a dangerous habit). I attribute my severe insecurities to the fact that I always felt that my biological mother didn't love me enough to raise me. (As an adult, I know that it is more likely that my biological mother simply couldn't raise me, but that isn't the way a child thinks.) When you grow up believing that the woman who gave birth to you didn't love you, how can you ever believe that anyone else could love you? The only way that can be overcome is if you are given the gift of a mother like mine. Had it not been for the loving encouragement of my adoptive mother, I believe that my insecurities would have been much worse than they are.

I never felt unloved. I never felt that things could have been better if I had been raised by my biological mother. Most of the time, I didn't even think about the fact that I was adopted. When you are adopted as an older child, you don't have to be told that you were adopted. You just know it, because you are aware of what is going on when you are being taken from an orphanage to a home, even if you don't remember a lot about the adoption. So, we never had to have that "you are an adopted child" talk that I'm sure all parents of adopted children dread, and all adopted children remember for the rest of their lives. Adoption was just seldom mentioned in our home.


The blessings that I received by being adopted by such loving parents overshadow any of the feelings of loss of not knowing my biological parents. My very special mothers made that possible...the mother who gave me up, as well as the mother who raised me. In my heart, the mother who raised me was, and will always be, my mother, and I know how blessed I was to have been loved by such a wonderful woman.




Since I live in my childhood home, and I am surrounded by so many things that belonged to my mother, I am reminded of my mother every day. Enough time has passed since I lost my mother that I can sometimes smile and even laugh when I think of her, although the tears still flow at times.




Our Daddy died when I was 17 years old. Mother was so strong and did everything on her own after we lost him, and she never complained. She sent me and my sister to college; gave us wonderful weddings; and never made us feel that there was anything she wouldn't do for us. Until a month before we lost her, mother had never been in the hospital! Every morning of her life, she put on her girdle, bra, hose, makeup, and usually a dress, (In the 60's, she did wear pants sometimes.) I'm sure she was appalled by the way I dressed at home after I got married, but she never told me that. The morning after she was admitted to the hospital, I went to see her in Intensive Care, and under her hospital gown, she had on her girdle!! (I don't really think it was intentional-she was just so accustomed to wearing it that she didn't realize she had it on!) (Since I've always just let my fat hang out, I know I could never become that accustomed to a girdle!)



Mother would have been one of my biggest blog supporters! She would have told all of her friends how brilliant I am to be able to have a blog! She would have ignored the fact that millions of other women are blogging, because in her mind, nobody else's blog would have been as wonderful as mine.




When mother reached an age when she could no longer host holiday dinners at her house, I began having them at my house. After every one of those celebrations, mother would go home, pick up the phone and call me to tell me how wonderful everything looked and how delicious everything was (in spite of the fact that she had told me that several times during the celebration). I still feel terribly let down after I host family celebrations, because I don't get that call from mother.



My mother was a very generous and welcoming hostess. As she laid in a hospital bed in her home, she remained the ultimate Southern hostess. When a Hospice worker came to check on her, or when a friend came to visit her, she would ask me if I could get some cake or cookies and coffee for her guest. She was aware that she didn't have long to live, but she still wanted to show her visitors the hospitality that she had always shown them. She only lived for three weeks after we brought her home, but until the last few days, she was still a gracious hostess.



Mother, you taught me so many lessons, and I am so grateful for all I learned from you, but I am especially grateful for the lessons of love that you taught me. I miss you, and I love you.



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EPERGNE!

One of the things that my mother taught me was the word "epergne". The entry for the word "epergne" in the online Webster's dictionary is as follows:


Epergne


Pronunciation: \i-ˈpərn,
Function: noun
Etymology: probably from French épargne saving
Date: 1761
: an often ornate tiered centerpiece consisting typically of a frame of wrought metal (as silver or gold) bearing dishes, vases, or candle holders or a combination of these




This lesson did not come easily! When I married in 1969, a Southern bride wrote a thank you note for every wedding gift. Sadly, I cannot remember who gave us the epergne that was on my tablescape in Thursday's posting, but I will never forget the thank you note I wrote! I had to destroy four of my lovely monogrammed note cards before I spelled the word correctly! Since the meaning and spelling of the word is burned into my memory, I just assumed that everybody was familiar with the word, and I had no idea it was going to cause such a fuss when I posted about it! I am, however, very glad to know and appreciative of the visitors to my blog who are actually reading the words! Maybe I should throw in a "faux" word now and then just to see if anyone is reading all of my ramblings! Heck, I've probably had a faux word or two in my postings without even knowing it! (Example: "ya'll"-but I have it on good authority from several of my blog readers that "ya'll" is a word-and a very good word at that!) I have to share a very clever remark from one of my blog readers. If you read my previous post, you may remember that I talked about the sexy legs on an epergne. Linda (Mom of a German Shorthair) left a comment that the legs on my epergne reminded her of "a cowgirl who has just been on her horse too long, & has ended up BOW-LEGGED"! I loved that comment, and I laughed out loud when I read it. Linda, my epergne IS bow-legged!



I bought this piece at an estate sale years ago, and I think it is also an epergne.


I really just showed you my other epergne, because I wanted to show you my beautiful peonies that I cut yesterday!


Most epergnes are much more fancy than either of mine. Just look at these I found on the internet:



I love this one with the little hanging baskets.



A cranberry glass epergne



I think this one is so unique, but if it was mine, I can just hear my husband saying...I hope you didn't pay a lot for that fancy guy sitting on the toilet!

Okay, school's out, and there will not be an exam. I am always learning from all of you, so I am thrilled to have this opportunity to share information with some of you. A visitor to the same Thursday posting wanted to know where I got my high/low coffee table. It was another estate sale purchase.




If you are a first time visitor to my blog, I want to assure you that my posts are not always so wordy, so please come back on another day. I appreciate my visitors so much, and I really love reading your comments. It's almost like my mother is here to tell me how wonderful everything is!




laurie