We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
My Mom died a little over a year ago, and I have not gotten over it yet. Possibly, I never will.
It's a Quaker song (correction - Shaker). Mom was a Quaker at heart although a Congregationalist in practice by family tradition.
She had plenty of money, but she never owned a camera, computer, or a cell phone, drove a 13 year-old Honda, and did her own yard work with knowledge and skill. She had a small collection of expensive timeless fancy clothing, and used them for many years. She always looked Yankee-style-elegant, if you know what I mean by that, never dowdy, always conservatively-chic. She hated jewelry but would wear pearls to the opera. She always looked great, trim, and put-together, even in old age.
When we cleared out her closet, it was amazing to my sisters how little she had because she always looked perfect in public. A very small amount of perfect stuff. St. John, Chanel, etc., plus gardening, hiking, tennis, and skiing clothes.
Simple Gifts was her kind of song, one of her favorites. Jewel is pretty good. I remember booing Jewel when she opened for Bob at a concert in New Haven when she insisted on talking politics. Embarassed my friends. After touring with Bob, she wondered whether he was gay because he never hit on her.
Maybe Jewel was just annoying when she wasn't singing. Shut up and sing.
I like this post, cause I like your back story about your Mom and I very much enjoy Jewel's music. Yep, musicians should not be banned from chatting about politics, but their managers should tell them to shut up. It's bad enough we allow politicians to speak of such things. Limits on their political speech I could support. Lemme see if I can find a good legal basis for such limitations.
I only needed a few seconds. It's mainly self defense. Yes folks, the political speech, including the actions of politicians, meaning elected or appointed officials, can be limited based on our fundamental rights to life, liberty and all the rest. Since those folks have the power to destroy, dismantle and tinker with everyone's property, livelihood and health. We have the obligation to limit their powers and their individual rights. Politicians are inherently dangerous. They are like rabid dogs. Thus, they must be controlled.
I'm thinking let them out in public to speak for five minutes at a time while shackled securely. Let them speak of nothing but how to limit their powers. Lead them back to some restricted living area. Have them confess their thought crimes every day to the group, make them do penance by growing peas and sleeping on cold concrete slabs. I'm onto something good here. I can feel it.
Your mom obviously had the class that Jewel lacked - and more. Some seem to go through life effortlessly and self effacingly doing the right thing all the time. Most of us don't. Your mother seems like one who did. She was certainly a blessing to you while she was alive and no doubt she'll continue to be one since she died.
Wonderful reminiscences about your Mother - she sounds a treasure. We lost my father last year the day after his 98th birthday, my mother ten years ago, and my experience has been that it changes everything. We carry on and continue to grow, but we never "get over it."
I would like to point out that the song, originally known as Simple Gifts, was written in 1848 by Maine Shaker Elder Joseph Brackett. It became known outside the Shaker communities when Aaron Copeland included it in his Appalachian Spring in 1944.
I lost my mom approximately 3 months before you lost yours. Right before Christmas. Yeah, you adjust, but you don't get over it. I know I had a heart sinking moment this afternoon.
And yet, I know it was the right thing for her. But I do mourn for the grace and class that it seems we lose, the more we lose previous generations. I saw Doris Day made an appearance the other day on the occasion of her 90th. She is only 2 months older than my mom would be. Seeing Doris Day again made me cherish the innocence that always seems to be slipping away.
I appreciate this blog more than I can express. Cheers.
I must just add that it matters not who/what your mother was, what she did, how she presented herself. Nor even how she treated you.
She was your mother.
My mother was as far from yours as Venus to Mars. But I loved her, and her passing did and still does at times rip my heart asunder. Because she was my mother. That, to my mind, is the salient fact beyond all others.
Your mother sounds so much like my own. When she died, she had only a few dresses and shoes, one purse and a sky blue leather zipper KJV Bible, and a ream of handwritten poetry. But my favorite things of my mother's was a box of letters to my father that I found as a teenager. They were mostly letters about the bills that needed paid, and the power company was going to shut off the power on this day, etc. Though lacking in money, she was classy unto death.
As for this beautiful song, Jewel sings it simply and quite well, but Allyson sings it better:
My mother (6th grade education) made her way in this world by being a hair dresser, and then worked for the seniors in her community by being employed by the trust department of a bank. Quite an honorable woman. I have her handwritten accounting book--simple math has never seemed so beautiful in form.
In 2001 she came to live in our community in SEA. She had quite a bit of cash she had saved through her lifetime and we were so proud and so grateful that she was able to pay the rent for a small apartment in a good retrrement home 2 years in advance. We were just coming out of a horrible time with my husband's previous employer. Mom gave and gave and gave and when there was only enough left for one year she left us saying, "I have done the best I could".
Did I ever tell you the story about the time when women from my husband's former employer came to "visit" my mom in her apartment at that retirement home to interrogate her about my husband and me? Did I tell you that that event was only one of many ways those "liberated women--agents of change" harassed us for years and years after we had signed the settlement agreement. Those women of that "special tribe" and their female lapdogs just refused to accept that we would not stay and work for them! So, they visited an old lady in the retirement home in an attempt to bully all of us! Nice work ladies of Seattle! Nice work.
Ohh I forgot to mention: my mom was in her early 80's by that time. The gals from my husband's former employer got in touch with the "agents of change" in my church and the new minister refused to hold a funeral for my mother. He was oh so politically correct! They are so wonderful those liberal lapdogs!