When I start thinking that through, there are several concepts that pop to my mind. First of all, apparently my mom knew how to draw. She was very creative, though she would never have said that out loud and she never defined herself as such. I can see the proof of that as I think back through my childhood, when she was able to do things as she wished, she could transform a room, sew clothes, knit things, and even did hand photo coloring. Her work was not displayed prominently, but if you knew where to look her subtle influence was everywhere, while my father's taste were loud and apparent. Second, if she took the time to show me how to draw that first horse, that means I apparently was interested in art. I remember that I drew a lot, and I tell you it wasn't because of the series of (mostly) bad art teachers I had- but that is for a whole different post someday, or not. I know I practiced and practiced and got attention for it from my peers. Then only a few years later, she gifted me with a camera.
|I can't imagine why she didnt want us sneaking up on her with a camera|
My mother didn't like having her picture taken, which is why there are not a lot of them for us to choose from as we begin this final stage of her life. She took some of the pictures, of course, but when she got me a camera when I was about 12 years old, she usually managed to avoid being in them.*** I wonder if my mom had any idea how she opened up a new world to me when she gave me that little film camera? It was one of those flat ones with the little bulbs on the top that had 4 sides? I took so many pictures with it, most of them just bad snapshots, but once in a while I would get a good one and it would give me enough reinforcement to do more. Plus she kept buying me film and flashbulbs when there wasn't a whole lot of money to spare..... so I started to learn how to take pictures.
|Debi and mom and Rosie|
My mom took care of many, many people. The farm house had a bathroom on the first floor, which was not the case in many houses back in the day, she helped rehab a lot of people. She also didn't have a job outside the home, which also was not unusual. My mom was raised by very loving and giving parents, and so she continued that legacy. She cared for my Grandma Kutz with diabetes at times, a few of my uncles, later in life my dad, fed a great uncle and his son for 2 years when that uncle lost his wife. She did so much for them, and I never really felt resentment in her. I know she got exasperated and annoyed, especially with my grandma, her mother-in-law, but she never really complained. She opened the house to her parents who at times would stay for a few weeks during corn picking time when Grandpa Oberley would drive the corn truck. So many people, and it just seemed normal, it was fun for us kids. I loved having people around then, they were so interesting and I knew they loved me. My mom made everything seem so normal and easy... And I learned to give myself to others.
|July 27. 1957|
|My mom and my favorite kitty|
I was admittedly not a very pleasant teenager- in the morning particularly. I know I was ornery as hell, and I knew that my mom sort of ignored me most of the time when I was like that. But she tried to get us up for school in a variety of ways that included sending the border collie in to wake us up, which was awesome- and she would some days she would put her head in the door and say the dreaded words: Rise and Shine. I hated getting woken up by that phrase. I wonder if she did it to bug the crap out of me, or if she was trying to be positive. I can respect both of those reasons, really. I am sure that I was not kind to my mother when I was between the ages of 14 and 18, those mornings were horrible, I just didn't want to interact -ever- until after like 9 am. But having so much experience with teenagers now, I understand what my problem was- I was a teenager. Years later, when I had kids- not once did she wish a child just like me on me, or roll her eyes at me or anything. She would listen patiently to all the things I wanted to complain about and I loved her for it I talked to my mom every weekend for at least 30 years. She took my good with my bad and I always knew I could tell her everything. And I learned about love.
|Ella and grandmas|
I posted a couple of photos on Facebook and am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from all. I so so appreciate all of your thoughts for me and us. They are overwhelmingly touching. The comments from some of my former students affected me the most. My high school students that were with me for one semester or 4 years - all of them are special to me. I love them unconditionally, I know that they are good people who just need to be accepted. I know that they needed to not be asked to change who they are, they just need to be encouraged to be the good person they are meant to be. Even when they were difficult, they didn't mean to be hurtful. They just needed someone to listen and teach and encourage, and they turned into wonderful adults..... And that is how I pass what I have learned from my mom along to others who need me the most.
*** I want to say if you do that- avoid the camera because you are "shy" or don't like the way you look or what have you- quit that. Relax and smile and let your loved ones have pictures- they love you for you. Not if your clothes look a certain way or whatever- no one important will care. Not a comment against my mom, I have known enough people who regret not getting more pictures of a loved one who "didn't like it". You still have a chance- do it