My mom would have been 82 next week.

This is the kind of thing I’ve been thinking about, especially over the last few days. I sit down to write a blog post and get nowhere because my brain is like one of those Jiffy Pops at mass capacity – pop! pop! pop! pop pop pop pop pop pop pop POP!!

What is, is. So here we go.

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My mom had beautiful eyes. All the rest of us have brown eyes so she was that kid doin’ her own thing in our family.

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She loved the color blue. We live in North Carolina so everyone here is all Duke Blue is the only blue! and You’re crazy! Carolina Blue all the way! but mom loved something in between. More of a cornflower blue really. It brought out her eyes.

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Mom taught me to cross stitch. I can still picture her on the loveseat, afghan over her lap, cat by her side as she worked on her piece.

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She l-o-v-e-d books. We’d go to the library and leave with arms full during the summer. I remember watching her stand in the aisle pulling book after book off the shelf, reading the blurb and deciding if it was worth taking. She chose carefully because we reached our checkout limit every time.

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In her last years the Parkinson’s made it impossible to read well. She kept losing focus and couldn’t retain information, but she never lost her love of reading itself. We started bringing her books on CD from the library instead, and finding mom wearing her headphones became as second nature as those stacks of library books.

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All my life I knew mom as a blond. She might have been brunette at one time but blond is so firmly etched in my memory that it’s all I can see. Strange to think she could have looked entirely different as a teenager.

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We always had Siamese cats. I don’t know why we didn’t get a dog; I don’t actually remember ever asking for one. We just had cats. And mom adored our cat. So much so that she was willing to fend off angry birds to rescue him when he got stranded in the backyard.

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Mom loved cardinals. Especially the red ones.

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She used to make Welsh Cookies. Oh my gosh, I could eat those for days, they were so good. (Though I’ve been told recently you really had to be raised on them to like them, otherwise they taste like chalky flour. As if. But maybe I should note that ours were classic recipe from the old country and didn’t have any nonsense like this sugar sprinkled on them – sacrilege!) Right up until the end Bee would make a big batch at Christmas and set apart one whole sleeve for mom. She positively glowed when she spotted them.

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I don’t remember a lot about our day to day life; I just remember mom somehow made it work. Two different soccer practices and a band competition? Beats me how but she got us all to our spots and nobody got left behind at the end of the day. Guess we’re all Supermom when we need to be.

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“Carole with an E.” I can’t begin to count how many times I heard my mom say that. To this day I’m caught off guard by women with the name Carol(e) and without fail note if they, too, use an E.

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So I have an odd little medley of mom pics loaded into WordPress. Here they are, with no particular rhyme or reason.