If you’re a mother, there’s always a time you’re reminded of your own mother as her words slide in and out of your consciousness. Sometimes, you may find her words coming out of your mouth as you give advice or opinions to your own children. Whether you had a positive or negative life experience with your own mother (or guardian) she’ll never be forgotten. I was fortunate to have a warm, loving, fun relationship with my mother Doris. However, there were power struggles as well, but we always were able to overcome them.
For a short time, my mother and I joined forces to form the team of ‘Mama and Rosalie”. We wrote and performed comedy skits for about a year when I was 27 and my mother was 62. One of the most popular spoofs was “Grandma Comes to Babysit” when I portrayed a somewhat bratty little girl who was only interested in what toys or goodies granny was bringing her that day. It was never good enough, no matter what she brought me. But the kicker was when little Rosalie wanted her grandmother to play ‘cowboys”. I lassoed my granny (mother) and tied her to a chair and the finale was – I left her there as she screamed “untie me” and instead I skipped out the door to go and play outside.
While we left audiences howling, truly the best fun was time spent writing the sketches when my mother and I would laugh until we would cry. Only then we knew it would be an effective skit. I can still hear my mother’s cackling laughter in my head. “Renaldo’s Charm School” was another contrast in characters as I portrayed a stuffy instructor at a high end finishing school, (to teach women supeior style and manners). My mother played the half-hearted client who hid bagels and a salami in her purse and reached for them as she was being instructed in specific exercises to help her lose weight. It all was good fun and this stint into the ridiculous take-on-life brought my mother and I even closer.
She loved my children and the day my first child, Rhonda was born, my mother arrived at the hospital in a cocktail dress! After all, this was an occasion! She also wore a sign – “Today I am a Grandma – and she’s a Big 8 lb. Girl”. She was a character.
My mother taught me to make Life an occasion, to enjoy small and simple things – a walk in nature, a glorious sunset, a spectacular rainbow, an adorable baby. She instilled in my psyche to love and respect all people, no matter their race, creed or religion or station in life. But she also didn’t like to be crossed and taught me to stand up for what I know is right. She also emulated a strong work ethic, striving for excellence in whatever career or job she chose. I like to keep those values close to my heart and hopefully have passed them along to my own children.
May you find the joys in your own relationship with your mother and cherish your time if you’re still lucky enough to have one. There’s always a way to improve the bond with your mother. Look for or remember the fun side – you can’t go wrong.