Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A Mother's Love is Measured in Many Ways

When it came to love and affection, my mom wasn't one for outward displays. She wasn't comfortable with hugs or kisses. In fact, she was very uncomfortable with all such signs of affection. She detested the words "I love you" even more than physical gestures. I have no idea why, because of course she was uncomfortable discussing the subject as well.

My mom expressed her love with good food and by taking care of someone when they were sick. She was an excellent caregiver and would have made a wonderful nurse except that she couldn't stand the sight of blood. She was always very attentive and would sit with me for hours on end when I was sick. If I was thirsty she'd run to get me some heated Vernors ginger ale. If I was hungry she'd instantly become a short order cook, making me anything my little heart desired. She'd soothingly rub my back when I was achy with fever and drag out the down comforter if I had the chills. When I was having a miserable pregnancy she'd call me from a pay phone every other day or so (to save the toll charges of calling from home) just to see how I was doing and cheer me up. In any weather.

I never thought to take a photograph of her doing any of that.

Interestingly, my mom's discomfort with showing love and affection magically disappeared when it came to babies and infants. Especially when it came to her grandchildren. In fact, she was the one who taught my daughter to say, "I love you"! Go figure. Although I don't remember my own infant and toddler years, I'd bet good money that she was plenty affectionate with me as well. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of that either. But, I do have a couple of photos of my mom holding my oldest brother when he was a baby and you can see the love and pride in her eyes. These photos were obviously taken at the same time which was in 1946. I'm not sure of the occasion but there must have been one. My family was very thrifty and wouldn't have taken ordinary-day pictures. Judging by the size of my brother I'd guess this would have been for his first birthday or Easter both of which were in April of 1946. She would have been in the third trimester of pregnancy though it's hard to tell from her attire. I assume she was wearing the latest fashions... don't ya just love the hat and the peep-toe shoes? I love these photos!

Remembering you with love and affection this Mother's Day, Mom. I know you would have appreciated this scrapbook page more than a hug or a kiss.

Digi-scrapping kit: "Mother's Love" created by Susan Darter of the Raspberry Road Designs blog. The kit is a freebie :-) You can download the papers here and the elements here.

Written for the "Smile for the Camera" blog carnival on the Shades of the Departed blog.