My Mother turned 98 yesterday.  Yes.  98.  Last year around Mother’s Day, I shared a post called Mommyisms Funny Things Mother Said. The post was about the things that all Mom’s say like “Because I said so, that’s why.”  For her birthday, I thought I’d share Mommyisms that could only come out of the mouth of my Mother.

My Mother Is Different Than Your Mother

My Mother hates being dependent on her children.  It was bad enough when it was just car rides to the Doctor or the grocery store.  But now, she can’t go to the grocery store without a wheelchair and she hates being wheeled around in one, so she doesn’t go.  She tells us that she’s sorry that we have to waste our time with an old lady.  My sister told her that we do it because we love her and reminded her that she used to do it for her own Mother when she was ill.  My Mother said, “That was different.  She was my Mother.”

What Color Is Your Hair?

My parents belonged to several organizations and would to go to events with other couples.  Sometimes they would drive and sometimes the other couple.  One couple, in particular, lived nearby and they used to ride together all the time.  Once, Mother got into the backseat behind the husband and asked him when his hair started going salt and pepper.  She said she hadn’t noticed it before.  Everyone else in the car started laughing.  He told her it was a wig and reminded her that he started going bald while they were in high school together over 30 years previously.

What Do Pussy Willows And Richards Have In Common?

Once, while driving with my Mother, I experienced a bout of road rage and yelled “Dick!” at a driver who cut me off.  My Mother looked at me and in all innocence asked, “Do you know him?”  I was confused at first until I realized that she thought I was yelling out someone’s name, not a profanity.

But that does not even compare to the Pussy Willow tree incident.  Half of her Pussy Willow tree had died and my nephew came by to cut it back.  He asked her if she wanted him to cut down the whole tree and my mother said, “No.  It still grows nice pussies.”   My nephew and Father started laughing.  She said “What’s so funny?  All I said was that it still grows nice pussies.”  My nephew was on the floor laughing and begging his Grandma to stop.

Yes.  My mother seriously said that. (And yes, I had to explain it to her all over again when I read this post to her.)

Don’t Bother Me When My Games Are On

My Mother is a huge Red Sox fan and an even bigger Uconn Women’s Basketball fan.  She watches every game.  One night a few years ago my brother and I were both visiting my mother.  We were chatting and laughing and having a good time.  Then my Mother sat up and asked what time it was.  I told her it was 7 pm and she grabbed her remote and turned on the TV.  As she turned to watch the TV she dismissed us saying, “The girls game is starting.  Don’t forget to lock the door on your way out.”

What’s In A Name

My parents named all of their children with names that begin with the letter J.  We are Judith, Joanne, Jonathan, Joseph (aka Jay) and Jennifer.  I don’t know why it just happened that way.  Funny thing is, it caused problems for my mother when trying to remember our names. This was especially true when she was mad.  She would start at the top of the list and run through our names just using the first syllable.  “Jud, Jo, Jon, Jay, Jen!”  Usually, after going through the list, she still was so mad she couldn’t get out the name and would yell, “You know who you are!”  And yes, we usually did….but we weren’t going to admit it.

My name is Jennifer.  It’s on my birth certificate and it’s how I introduce myself.  My sister Joanne used to call me Jenner (she was allowed, she was 15 years older than me.)  My friends just call me Jenn. But to my Mother, I am simply…..Joanne.


BTW, if you want to know the secret of long life, I swear it’s laughter.  Up until a year ago, Mother and her friends from high school (class of 1937) would still get together weekly for cards and laughter.  But my Mother will tell you that the secret is that she brought a bottle of water back from The Fountain of Youth and drank it with her friends.

In 2003, when she was 84, we were in St. Augustine, Florida and she insisted I take her to the Fountain of Youth. It’s part of Ponce de Leon’s Archaeological Park, which is set on the original site of our nation’s oldest European city.  She brought a bottle of the water home to drink with her friends. Below is a picture of all of them, it was in the local paper around the time of my Mother’s 90th birthday.  Today, eight years later, all but one of them is still alive.  So you’ll have to decide which is the secret of long life.

Mother and her high school friends on UnfoldAndBegin.com
My mother is on the far left. She is 90 in this picture.