Saturday, May 12, 2012

Memories for Mother's Day

This Mother's Day as we turn our thoughts and memories toward the women who gave us life, I want to take a moment to remember my mom, Kay Rettstatt (Anna Catherine Hennessey Rettstatt).

During a recent visit with my sister, we got a glimpse of some old 8 mm family movies. (My paternal grandfather was something of a Cecil B. DeMille wanna be. No one was safe from his camera.) I say glimpse because the old projecter gave out. But we got to watch Mom at play--with a hula hoop, her hair pinned up in bobby pins. My Mom had a great sense of humor and fun. I like to think I inherited this from her. She was a stay-at-home Mom when that was the fashion, in the fifties and sixties. And she seemed to be content, though in the later sixties, she did take a part-time job, once my sister and I were both in high school. I think she enjoyed being out in the workforce for a bit and loved to tell stories about her day at the office.

She claimed to hate having animals in the house, but repeatedly took pity on stray dogs, luring them inside, bathing and feeding them, and--if no one claimed them--making them the new family pet.

She loved her family, playing cards and laughing with friends, dancing at Christmas time after her one singular drink (it only took one and, sadly, I inherited that, too). I remember the last birthday I spent with her. I went home for the day and took her out to visit family and then to dinner. She didn't want to go to any fancy restaurant, but chose a small, local bar and restaurant because they had great fried chicken strips. We had a nice day together--at that stage where mother and daughter begin to become equals, adult friends.

She was taken far too soon, just six weeks later, at the age of sixty-four.

Here's to you, Mom. I hope they have hula hoops in heaven. If not, I'm sure you're creating your own fun. You always did.


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