Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Lyn Cote's Fun Mom
My mother "imprinted" herself on me. If you had met us together, it would have been obvious that I was her daughter. My voice, my word choices, my inflection, my mannerisms matched my mom's. My mother's last days were heartbreaking. Dementia changed my mother into a hostile stranger. When she passed away, I had a feeling of relief, not only for myself but for my mother. She would not have liked herself as she was. She passed away in August of 2007. I have mourned her in fits and starts.
Trying to change my sorrow to joy, I began remembering all the remarkable things about her. And especially what a fun mom she was when my late brother Bobby and I were kids. I grew up in Waukegan, IL, which is on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee. Waukegan had the most wonderful beaches! These were the days before pollution took its toll on water quality. Waukegan's North Beach had beautiful white sand, a WPA built bath house, a lovely shady picnic area and miles and miles of shoreline.
The highlight of summer were the days when the usual westerly wind would shift to an east wind. An east wind drove the warmer waters back to the shore in HUGE waves that gave us hours of fun. My mother was running the family business (May's Floors), kept a spotless house, cooked fantastic meals and still took time for afternoons at the beach. And she didn't even like to wade! So it was just for me and Bobby. Whenever I hear the call of a seagull, it takes me back to those wonderful times, dancing in the waves, shouting and laughing and splashing and making friends with every other child lucky enough to be at the beach. This is how I choose to remember my mother.
Did you have a fun mom too? What is your best childhood memory that your mom made possible?