A mother's love is a blessing. My mother said that to me years ago. What it means is cryptic to me but it is true if you really think about it. Who can really disagree. Like most things my mother said or cited, the saying is a truism. For the last ten years of her life, my mother did not remember many things as she had faulty memory issues. Do I persist in telling you its name. It is rather obvious. By now everyone knows its insidiousness, and in case your mind has wandered it all started with a first name of Alois. I do have to say one observation though it seems your greatest strength stays with you the longest. It seems that it is the last thing that leaves before that final curtain comes down. My mom's strength was her incredible sense of humor.
My mom was funny. She had a very sharp and quick wit. She would say the punchline of any joke like a natural comedienne. Unfortunately the downside of her personality is that she lacked self-confidence and self-esteem. She doubted her abilities on lots of occasions during my childhood. I believe, however that God was always with her as she had lots of ideas. The practical ones reached fruition.
For example, she did not like math but she helped her children with learning our times tables for school. She would line her cherubic children on the foyer steps and randomly quiz us. Her quick mind said the equation as three fives or six nines and that would routinely louse me up as that is how who I memorized them. My mom taught me how to think fast. It took me a long time to master that skill. I am still not very good. Call me contemplative.
When I think of these things now, these memories always bring a smile to my face. I think sometimes my mom would have liked to help us more for school. But you know how math is. It changes with every generation with the phrase, "new math". She would say I do not really understand this and reluctantly, I believe, that the five of us turned to dear old dad for the higher math solutions. Suddenly math as a subject in school was not so humorous. Dad did know his stuff about math with his engineering background but what can I say, the subject is dry and needed some pizazz. Not even the theories of imaginary numbers really helps.
I always believe that mom wanted to offer her children something intelligent from herself. She most times did not know what that was. She at times had courage and confidence and she always did her best. She always had a lot of compassion to give to others.
Her own mother died when she was about 5 years old and more than the rest of her siblings grew up without a mother. Her sister, Rita, tried her best to be both a sister and a mother. It must have been a tough reality as Rita was a child herself. I have come to believe that God blessed my mother and her siblings by, as only God can do, helping the family stay together and become good citizens of the world. The Simister children did accomplish this goal very well as they were all hard-working. The Simister family all possessed a key family characteristic--a sense of humor. As my mom cited often, laughter is the best medicine, as well as to live, to love, to laugh and to grow fat. My mom excelled at following this advice. She may not have been the best cook. Everything was cooked thoroughly so we never really had bouts of food poisoning in our home. We also did not starve. We do not even starve to this day. So money and home economics were not her strong suit. She learned to be thrifty with the food budget. She bought day old bread. You really cannot live by bread alone; you need cake and as Marie Antoniette said if the peasants do not have bread let them eat cake. You need other things and my mother would cite time and time again that variety is the spice of life. And that saying would lead to another famous one about the woman who kissed a pig. I do not know whay she would kiss a pig but to each his own. In her own way, may be my mom was thinking of Robert Frost's poem about the road not taken as being the wiser course of action. Who knew that Nancy had hidden inteligence. I believe it all lay in her tremendous ability of simple common sense. Way to go Mom! By now, you must realize that my mom had one ability--a very large sense of humor. Her common sense guided her decisions and as she cited loads of times there is a fine line between genius and idiot. And she was neither one but like most people, an ordinary honest individual. And is that not what God calls everyone to be.
As I have grown older, I know my mom fretted about her faith and God. Did God exist or didn't he? My mother would remind herself of her childhood memory in school. She had asked her teacher where is God. I do not see him everywhere. The teacher replied plainly that God lives in your heart. She did accept that as a fact but sometimes her mind was tempted to wander and to wonder about where God really was. And much more importantly what happens at the end of life. Will she see God? What is heaven like? My mother then joked that heaven must be a great place as no one ever returns. Well, except one but that one also returned to heaven. Heaven must be more enjoyable than here on earth.
For some unknown reason, I have thought about what my mom's after death experience would be like. I know a call would come and that day sadness would reign supreme. My mom passed away in her sleep. She had always wanted to go to God in that way. It does make me happy that God granted her wish. My mind howeve has been prone to wander how did she go to heaven philosophically speaking. I believe that God appeared before her bed, beckoning her to come forth. Perhaps she would delay things as she would need help to rise. With quiet patience, the Lord will keep beckoning to rise as she is healed. Eventually she will rise and walk to the Lord not really knowing who this persistent figure is standing before her. God says come and expects you to come. God does not introduce himself. You have to figure that out for yourself. Once my mother is close to the God figure, the Lord takes her in his arms and walks out the door, comforting my mother every step of the way. She might think at first it is one of the nursing staff that have come to care for her 24/7. As the Lord walks with her toward the exit she may want to stop and say hello to anyone she sees. The Lord will quietly shush her and let the staff complete their work. She may ask are you the boss. Smiling the Lord may nod in agreement. Their conversation would turn into silent laughter. With that my mob will rise into the air with the Lord by her side, laughing all the way. In fact if there was a sound track it would probably be I love to laugh from the movie about a very perfect nanny who comes to aid families with the meaning of life and love. The version may sound something like this.
I love to laugh and the more I fill with glee the more I'm a merrier me.
Some people laugh with their noses hissing and sssing like snakes. How dreadful. Hee Hee
Then there is the kind that can't make up their mind. Ha Hee Ho Hee
Some people twitter like birds twee two twee
Some only blast Hah
When something strikes me as funny I can't hold it in and squeak with every breath.
And then I have to let go with a mighty Ho and off to the ceiling I go.
I love to laugh and the more I fill with glee the more I'm a merrier me.
But with my mom and the Lord laughing the ceiling opens up and there will be no going down. They will be laughting all the way as there is no part for getting down. There is no sadness in heaven. It is just up, up, up, and to the ends of the earth and beyond. My mom is now travelling on God's speed and on God's time. A whole new journey has begun and as a famous poet famously and cryptically observed
Because I could not stop for death
He kindly stopped for me
The carriage held but just ourselves
We sloly drove he knew no haste
And I had put away my labor and my leisure too
For his civility
We passed the schoold where children played
Their lessons scarcely done
We passed the fields of gazing grain
We passed the setting sun
We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling on the ground
The roof was scarcely visible
The cornice but a mound
Since then 'tis centuries but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horse's head
Were toward eternity
My mother may not be in a coach but may be when you finally meet your creator you travel through space and time to get to Jacob's ladder to heaven. Then the real fun begins. This is just my thought on the subject as my imagination has run away. Mom you were a good mother, a good friend and a good Catholic woman. You tried to be just like the 1952 yearbook said a woman of your age should be. You succeeded. I am proud to be your daughter. I will try to learn the lessons of your life. And I believe that God has always believed that you passed this life with flying colors. May your soul forever rest in peace. You deserve a long winter's nap.
A beautiful woman whose life and love are evident in her beautiful children. She may be gone from this earth but lives on in and through her children and Grandchildren!!!. Peace and love to you all!!! We love you Brian and Traci