My Mother told me there would be days like this.
She said: “Hey girl, you always have had a wild sense of importance, and a burning desire to change the world, but guess what?”
I would answer: “What?”
Yes, she would answer: “Chicken Butt.”
Needless to say, I learned a few things from Mom.
She was not a fabulous cook. She was not a great housekeeper. She didn’t care if the house was falling down when friends stopped by. She greeted everyone with warmth and love and invited them to sit down in her kitchen, to shoot the breeze. And while everyone was talking, she opened the refrigerator and put everything imaginable on the table. Somehow, her buffet was always the best, even if it was a hodge podge of leftovers of the meals she had served her family of 7 kids in the past week.
She also told me that when I decided to get married, to remember to compromise.
What the hell did that mean?
30 years later, I finally figured it out.
She went to mass every day, always wearing a hat, of some kind.
She was known for her hats.
To this day, I love hats.
She was a gentle person, but a silly goose, too.
She loved to talk to me like she was my sister, a phantom child named Barbara, who talked in baby talk. And called me by the name she really wanted to name me: Kelly Jean.
Her laughter was outrageous. There were times she would laugh until she cried, and that happened almost every day.
I never met anyone else who loved each day to the fullest, in spite of the hardships that the brutal challenging winters of Minnesota brought forth.
Two of her seven children died before she passed on.
The gentle, religious woman somehow showed remarkable strength and endurance throughout those traumatic times.
I often wonder if she would approve of me today.
I think she might.
She never really judged others, not even Kelly Jean.
However, I have my doubts if she would approve of my chicken hat.
And then, I bet if she had had that hat, I am almost certain she would have worn it, and laughed until she cried.
Such a silly goose, my Mom.