And, oh, the parties she could throw for me and my friends - always some sort of theme party complete with hand-crafted invitations, yummy food, and clever activities. She made it all look easy. I still remember fondly the "sewing club" my mother started on the pretext of teaching me and my grade school girlfriends how to embroider and quilt. I think really it was an attempt to teach us to be ladies. We always had tea (laced with cream and sugar) and cookies and were expected to practice good table manners. (Oh, how she tried to wean us away from playing horses!) Every gathering was an adventure. When I was in high school she came up with the brilliant idea to dress my poor old dad up like a gypsy fortune teller and have him crash my Halloween party. He was an instant hit, telling all the guests' fortunes... using information we fed him ahead of time.
She loved to plan special dinners for our family, and her greatest joy was seeing her children, grandchildren gathered around her table.
She didn't stop with family. I think my parents fed half the neighborhood. I know there was never a time when I asked if I could have company that I was denied.
Mom was busy with more than just fun and games. She was a tireless volunteer. She made sure her children got to church every week and she worked hard to instill good moral vallue in us. Kindness and generosity were the twin goals we aimed for in my home, and Mom taught us to take aim with love and laughter.
I wish she was still around to hang out with my daughter and me. Whatever we wind up doing this Mother's Day, we'll bring her along in our hearts.