Snapshots by Gloria Freeland - May 6, 2004

Like mother, like daughter

A good friend lost her mother just a couple of weeks ago. I can only imagine how difficult this first Mother's Day will be without her. While psychologists have studied the close and complicated bonds between mothers and daughters, I don't think any of us knows just how much our mother means until she's gone. I feel lucky to still have my Mom - and to have her only five minutes down the road. I stop by on my way to and from work when I can, and we talk on the phone almost every day.

The older I get, the more I see that I'm my mother's daughter. In certain ways - primarily in my slender face and my tendency to be quiet and introverted - I'm more like Dad. But I can definitely see Mom's influence.

Making lists - grocery lists, Wal-Mart lists, today's to-do lists, future projects lists - is something we've both elevated to an art form. We need those lists to keep us anchored as we tend to go off course if something more interesting comes along.

We both work on projects in spurts - doing a little now, going on to something else and later returning to what we were working on before. We'll both turn on the TV and then ignore it while reading books or balancing our checkbooks.

We both love our homes. Mom is more concerned with having three square meals a day, making her bed and ensuring that no dust bunnies reside in the corners than I am, but we both try to make our homes comfortable for our families. That includes filling tables, shelves and even windows with decorations every time holidays come around.

Our families are important to us, and any holiday, milestone event or even my brother Dave and his wife Linda coming to town for a football or basketball game is cause to get together.

And it's not just our present-day families that we love. We both have boxes of family history items - old letters, family tree information, wedding and graduation announcements, greeting cards, obituaries and photos.

Did I say photos? Oh, yes, we're both afflicted with the photography bug. She and I have dozens of albums filled with pictures of family reunions, holiday adventures, our cats, house projects, family trips, spring flowers, autumn leaves, the sun coming up, the sun going down . . . Any get-together at either of our homes can take forever as pictures documenting the event have to be taken first on Mom's camera, then my camera, then my sister's camera.

Each fall, Mom and I plant crocus and tulip bulbs even though there isn't an inch of space left in our gardens. And, each spring, after those crocuses and tulips bloom and die, we get busy planting annuals such as petunias, marigolds and geraniums. It must be the "farm girl" in us.

My daughters are old enough now that they see the similarities between Mom and me. They accuse both of us of being worry-warts, saying we advise them all the time to be careful, to eat right, to make good decisions.

The other day while Art was driving Katie and Mom to our home, Mom commented on how messed up her hair would be from the wind.

Katie rolled her eyes and said, "Grandma, you worry too much your hair. I hope I'm not that way when I grow up."

Art then suggested Katie could avoid the problem by cutting her hair short the way I wear it. Katie responded with, "But she still worries about her hair."

Mom asked, "Where did she ever get that?"

"From you, Grandma," Katie answered, "From you!"

Like mother, like daughter.

Three generations: Mariya, I, Mom and Katie, Thanksgiving Day 2004.

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