… thanks to two incredible people.

I think once a year all the siblings should get together somewhere secluded and reminisce about our parents. Pick a time when the phones are turned off and wine/beer/whiskies are cracked open, with plenty of our favorite food.

And if we throw Alan into the mix, he would provide plenty of jocularity.

Often, I will sit with drink and an occasional cigar if the weather is conducive and think about Mom and Pop. I will either end up laughing (or at least smiling) or with the tears people have when they dwell on things dear to the heart.

Mom and I have talked a lot about what comes after this life, and she and I both agreed, the thing we worried most about was leaving things undone. Even in her last months, she had talked about writing another book knowing full well she would not.

I was afraid after she left this life I would forget the sound of her laugh. Not so. I sat thinking yesterday about the time I had breakfast with her and asked her what kind of jelly she wanted on her toast. She said, “Oh, whatever I have in the refrigerator, Hon.” So, I took out what she had in the refrigerator and placed it on the table in front of her.  ….  All 10 jars. I can hear her laughing as I type this. She looked at them a few minutes more, then started laughing again. This was Mom’s humor.

And I think of all her jokes I heard over and over. What made them funny was watching Mom laugh after telling them. Her joke about the three old ladies. … “I’ll be up there after I see who is at the door.”

The guy who moved to the mountain in seclusion and was invited to a party by his neighbor. … “What should I wear? It doesn’t matter, it will just be the two of us.”

And the story about Grandmother Bullard being called an Old Stinkpot by some cute little girl playing on the sidewalk.

And every time I was there, she always asked if I had seen Decoration Day with James Garner. “Yes, MotherDear. I saw it twice with you.”  *sigh*

And though I am not a lover of poetry, I always took the time to listen her recite her favorite poem about trees. Afterwards, always a satisfied look on her face.

And something that always makes me smile was her choice of wine. She always had chillable red wine in the refrigerator. Sitting with her, I would ask, “MotherDear, would you like some wine?”

And she would reply, “Yes, I think I will have some (pause) Chardonnay.” Then she would have a satisfying smile. I would get her little Brazil cup with the toucan on it and pour her red chillable and take it to her.

She and I loved the cheap little cherry pies from Walmart at 50¢ each. I always picked up a good assortment of flavors, and after splitting one with her, (with ice cream on top), we would decide we needed to split one more.

As we get well into our later years, many people start to lose their Faith. This is not unusual. Once when we sat outside, she confided to me that she was losing hers. I reminded her of the time she was riding in the car and witnessed the miracle of the Dancing Sun. Her eyes lit up and said, “I saw it three times!” And I told her it was a gift from the Holy Mother for her writing the book about Međugorje. It was what she needed to hear.

Each of us have so much more we can share, as Mom has affected each of us in different ways. But as I typed this, it was revealed to me that we put too much into having a perfect life. Mom did not have a perfect life, but what she had, she loved. And I realized that Mom had not just a life of love, but a long life of love.

Her view of life is what made her a success. Later, I will talk about Pop.