A couple of Nuns, a Priest, Some Shoes & Mom
Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom! Happy memories are the storybooks of our past. How blessed we are if we have many of them stored within our hearts. Taking one off the shelf to “read” and enjoy as often as we wish. Here is one of my favorites.
My Mom was not really like other Moms at all. Being original was nearly her religion, which offered up a few challenges when you were just trying to fit in.
One day there was a knock on Sister Thomas’ third grade classroom door. It was announced by Sister Thomas that I was to come to the door because my Mother needed to see me. Immediately I am thinking I have a dental appointment, or some other equally important matter. Nope, it’s my Mom! After I get my hug from my Mom who is carrying four shoe boxes, she explains that she was out shopping at an incredible shoe sale, and I needed to try all these on, so she could choose a few pairs. Yes, friends…I am taking my shoes off in the hall way while glancing through the small narrow window of the classroom door to see if any of my peers are viewing my shoe fitting session. I was embarrassed and excited all in the same five minutes. In a jiffy Mom was on her way, shoe boxes under arms and I was back in class. I know my Mom had not purchased the shoes before bringing them to the school and I can only imagine that conversation with the shoe store sales clerk.
Mom gritted her teeth a little while making sure we conformed to all the rules of our parochial school. Being the free spirit she was must have taken some real self-control. Unfortunately there were a few times she made her opinion on some of those rules known to the administration. Yes, it was a rule that if you wore sandals you MUST wear socks! Apparently there were no naked feet allowed at Holy Family Catholic School.
On a particularly hot day, Mom suggested that I remove the white furry knee high socks that I was wearing with my sandals, before I returned to school from my lunch break. (clearly NO fashion police at Holy Family!!) Mom felt it was just too warm to wear those darn socks, and I eagerly took them off and made my way back to school. I barely had taken two steps onto the playground when Sister Catherine ordered me straight back home to get SOCKS ON! My Mother was so angry that they sent me home in the heat for the second time, she yanked my school jumper and away we flew in the car to the school office so she could “visit” with the principal. My anxiety was growing as I could see she was pretty worked up. Well, Mom said her peace to the teacher, and once the principal joined the conversation my Mom said the words that capped off the day. “Clearly there is nothing wrong with wearing sandals without socks, Jesus did, it’s in the bible….look it up.” And she yanked my jumper in her angst and we went home.
I don’t know how it was resolved, except my Mom said it was now acceptable to lose the socks, like Jesus did. This no sock drama was not quite as embarrassing as when the Priest came to our home for dinner and mom served him wine! I nearly melted into my dining room chair. The Priest accepted it graciously and my parents held friendships with all the Priests from our parish that exists to this day. My Mother may not have been the favorite of the Nuns, but anyone who knew her immediately loved her.
I don’t have any answers to why my Mom lost her health, or why we had to lose the great lady three years ago in August. We all cope in our own ways, and I released the “questions” to the winds and watched them sail away. What remains is gratitude. How incredibly blessed I am to have had her as my Mom. Seriously, the woman was dynamic and magnetic and filled with passion. She taught me that a strong marriage is putting your spouse before your children, and a strong mother will walk through fire for her children. She taught me to see the beauty in every single thing. Her lively, strong spirit guides me daily, like the needle of the compass that always seeks north. I hold these stories and countless others as best sellers in my archive of memories, and appreciate the blessings and embrace the joy.