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Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Moms

Eleven years ago today, May 11, 1997, I spent Mother's Day at the nursing home where my mom was dying of cancer. She had slipped into unconsciousness that weekend, and never woke up again. Alan, Randy, and I gathered in her room, along with our dad (who was there despite the fact they'd been divorced for 15 years), and we spent the afternoon telling stories, reliving memories, and laughing about the good times our family had over the years. I hope she heard us. I hope she liked that we remembered the fun stuff.

Two days later, my mom took her last breath with me at her side. The last words she heard from me were "I love you." I miss her every day.
Also at her bedside with me at that moment was another mom. My other mom. The woman who birthed and raised the boy I married - my mother-in-law.
Her name is Jan, but we call her Nanny. When Nick was just learning to talk, he couldn't say "Grandma", but he could say "Nanny", so that is what she became. Eventually I started doing daycare, and she became Nanny to about nine other children, too. Those kids are all grown up now, but there are some who still call her that.
Nanny is a nurse. A nurse with a Band-Aid stash in the bathroom closet. The grandkids were allowed to have as many band-aids as they wanted. The first time Jessica came home from Nanny's covered in band-aids, I almost panicked. She had band-aids on her throat. I thought something awful had happened. But then I found the band-aids in her hair. And lined up on her arm. And on her tummy. Pretty much every area of her body was protected by them. :o)
The grandkids pretty much got away with almost anything with Nanny. Except when I made her follow up on her promises of consequences. When Nick was 3-ish years old, he kept leaving the yard and walking to Nanny's without permission. (Only a block away, but still.) Nanny told him one day that if he did it again, he would get a spanking. Sure enough, a few days later, she found him in the garage. She called me. I told her she had to spank him. She didn't want to. I told her she had to. So she gave him a swat or two and sent him home. He was shocked. She hated it. He stopped going there without permission.
Nanny likes to play games. We've played hours of Uno (with and without cheating), and she taught the grandkids to play Pitch. She plays Bridge with her friends. And she likes to play the Wii. Nick brings it to family gatherings and they bowl together. :o)
The day my daughter moved to North Dakota and I was sitting in my living room sobbing, Nanny came to me. She brought me wine and made me laugh and I was better. Thank you.
Hopefully someday my children will make me a mother-in-law. I told Greg the other day that I will be using his mother as an example to follow.
I love you.
Happy Mother's Day.


Jan said...

Tammy, what a tribute, I hope I live up to it. We have always said we could not have picked better daughter in laws than our sons did.

As a Mother , I always remember you reading to the kids, and I laughed and said, I read and turned the pages to fast when the boys were little.

Happy Mother's Day. Love Jan

Susan in SC said...

How lucky you are to have such a wonderful mother-in-law and I am sure she feels that same about you! Susan

Julie said...

Just wanted to say hi and that I enjoyed my visit here.

I miss my Mother like crazy too. My last words to her were, "Thank you for adopting me."

Carrie said...

What a wonderful tribute for two very special ladies in your life.
I am coming to you through Rhonda at "A home with a smile".I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future

I lived in Ogalalla, NE for a short time in the 2nd grade.