Remembering Barbara

Happy Mother's Day

May 7, 2011 by

I lost my Mom 10 years ago-at times it feels like eons, other times it was a blink ago. If you’ve lost your Mom you probably know what I mean. Seldom does a day go by when I don’t think of something I wish I could share with her-good, bad or evil!

My Mom was a very involved, hands on mother. She knew what was going on in all of our lives, not that she always approved. There was usually always a daily phone call-and you better have a great excuse for letting her go to voice mail( working nights meant nothing! If she had something to share-you better wake up) She went to all her grandkids recitals, award ceremonies even Little League games. She knew who was arguing with their husbands, who’s kid had a cold and what everyone was planning on making for dinner.

She shared with us a love of reading, a cut throat desire to win at Jeopardy and her blind loyalty to the Celtics and the Patriots. She had to be first off the line after the light turned green, then dropped her speed to a respectable 25 mph. Would travel 30 miles out her way to avoid a highway-and if you ever saw her merge onto a highway you know why this really was a good idea. You could hear her coming as she drove over the hill in our neighborhood blasting Sweet Caroline or (God forbid) Do you think I’m Sexy?

She instilled in us a need for getting together for the hell of it, washing the pots and pans before we sat down to eat (so the clean up wasn’t so bad after we ate) and taught us it was OK to use pretty paper plates sometimes instead of the good china.

In my teen years our house was where everyone wanted to hang out. My friends loved her-and she adored them. My best friend growing up would go over even if I wasn’t around. She gave advice, encouragement and life’s-lessons-learned to my friends and while at the time that drove me crazy, now I look back and see what a gift that was.

She believed paprika was the only spice you really needed, ham can’t be cooked without pineapple and ginger ale and that Duncan Hines is just as good as a long involved recipe-but frosting HAD to be homemade. Don’t even get me started about cooking the Thanksgiving turkey upside down!!

One year for my birthday she gave me ONE ticket to a Frank Sinatra concert. Guess who had the seat next to me. I wasn’t a huge fan but watching her was like seeing the teenage Barbara. She wasn’t seeing the older Blue Eyes try to remember his lyrics; she was back at the Paramount in the 50s, he was THE major heartthrob-and she was 18 years old again. I’ve had a huge soft spot for his music ever since.

When she got sick it was the beginning of a long sad time in our lives. She was a trouper, trying different therapies and doing her best to keep our morale up. When time was running out, there was time to say our thank you’s and I love you’s and for that I am grateful. But there was a not so small part of me that had the emotional maturity of a six year old.

When the loss was new, we tended to only think of her “good” qualities. The irony is that the Real Barbara was so much better than that. She could make me crazier than anyone else in my life, had a wicked sense of humor and would take a contrary stance just to stir things up (DONT even get me started on the OJ Simpson support!!!) Loved a good gossip and a cocktail.

That six year old seems to visit on Mother’s Day. So this year I’ll do a brunch for my sisters (mothers all) but I’ll be remembering the amazing Barbara for the Mom she was, the friend she was to me and so many others and woman I can only hope to emulate. 

To all of you who are Moms, have a wonderful day and those of you who still can, call your mother! And Happy Mother’s Day Mom-and thanks for everything , you are still a daily part of my life ♥♥♥


About the Author

Polli Graham Has Written 19 Articles For Us!

I am by education an RN, have worked the majority of my career in ICUs. A few years ago I traded in my scrubs for lady clothes and a briefcase and now I am a liaison for group of excellent Rehabilitaion Hospitals here in Massachusetts. I get to travel around talking with people all day, do some direct marketing and education, and use skills honed over thirty years. In my real life I am a sister, an aunt a daughter and a friend. I have wonderful nieces and nephews who I can play with, travel with, be proud of and spoil! I’ve saved pictures of all our adventures so that someday I can blackmail them into taking me to Early Bird specials.
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  1. polli

    Thank you Toby, Rebecca and Marianne for your comments-and for the stories of your Moms. Amazing (and somehow comforting) how the loss of a Mom is such a universal feeling.

  2. Polli,
    Loved reading this…it so reminded me of my mother from the paprika through jeopardy and the highway merge move. And the loss. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Rebecca Crichton

    Your mom was a definitely a force of nature. Thanks for sharing the great memories.

  4. Polli – Thanks for the reminder that although our moms hold a special place in our hearts it’s ok that they are/were “real people” .. which makes them that more endearing. Love the Sinatra story!

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