By Guest Blogger Kelly Nichols
A force to be reckoned with, my momma ran the world. She always knew what to do, how to do it, and how to look good while you were doing it. Life was tough, but she was always tougher. Never a rule follower nor even a rule breaker, my momma is a rule maker.
Here are a few highlights:
- Born in Midway, raised on a tobacco farm, she married an immigrant whose English was peppered with a thick Greek accent! (very risky for the time!)
- A high-school PE teacher, my siblings and I are sure the iconic Beulah Ballbreaker from Porky’s was fashioned after her.
- She was “in charge” of everything, all the time. No questions asked.
Oh the stories! Like an onion, every time she told one, she revealed a little more about herself, the past, and her upbringing. Momma has the gift of hyperbole, stories expanding, and changing with each telling.
Our relationship was fairly typical for a mother/daughter relationship. I tried to push back a few times (because – DNA of course) but I was/am a mere shadow of the original Wonder Woman and it was always her way in the end.
“Turn and face the strange” ~ David Bowe
When the first grandchild was born, Buelah Ballbreaker morphed into Mary Poppins. I heard rumors of this phenomenon but doubted it would impact my mother. The woman who monitored my nutrition and sleep like a hawk began to sneak treats and keep this child up late. She allowed the child to do whatever she desired. This miraculous child, now an adult, has defined perfection. Momma 2.0 loosens the reins at a child’s whim.
My sister and I decided to revive an old tradition and attend the Nutcracker. Excited because we could plan and pay for this, we gave Mom the tickets as a gift. Much to our surprise, when she opened it, Momma exclaimed, “What did you get these for?” I responded by reminding her how we used to love going. Her response? “The only reason I ever went was because you girls wanted to. I hated sitting there.” Needless to say, we sold the tickets! Momma 2.0 will not pretend to enjoy the moment.
Persuaded by a sentimental commercial, we purchased Storyworth, the service that sends weekly email questions about someone’s life, they respond to the email, and a personalized book of stories is created. I loved momma’s stories, always told with a bit of hyperbole, about a world I knew very little. Momma’s reaction to the gift was mixed. Turns out so were her stories. While some of them were sweet and reflective, others were not so much. When Storyworth asked “Who are the best cooks in your family?” Momma began, “The best cooks in my family are dead.” While I agree that my grandmother made anything taste amazing, I think there is a softer way to begin the tale. Momma 2.0 has no filter.
I may have been the only teenager ever whose mother wanted me to be a more aggressive driver. She insisted that I drive my car, not just ride in it. Her love for driving served her well with a career at BMW. When the time came to hang up her keys, she did not go down easily. Every few days, I would hear a new option; golf cart, three-wheeler, moped, motorcycle, and even a lawnmower came into play. To be honest, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see her pull up to TJ Maxx on a John Deere. Momma 2.0 still makes her own rules.
Online shopping has become a new pastime. The biggest issue? Her sight is also failing. One day, I arrived at her house and carried a large Amazon box inside. She insisted that she did not order anything that large. Upon opening the box, she discovered 11 pairs of the same navy blue sandal in size 7. Even upon seeing the identical shoes, she denied ordering them. For clarification, mom wears a size 11 shoe. I am convinced she thought she was selecting the size but selected the amount instead! Momma 2.0 still is right. Always.
“Time may change me, But I can’t trace time” ~David Bowe
And it has, for my momma and for me. Some difficult to face, some, she refuses to acknowledge and grips onto her world with clenched fists. The best thing about all this, we can laugh at ourselves. In fact, laughter gets us through the changes. If nothing else, we both remain imperfect, trying to navigate what this world throws at us.
I am slightly more mature and according to the calendar a little older. I can tell when I look in the mirror, put on my readers, or begin yawning at 8:00 pm. Wonder Woman has changed too; senses dulling and body rebelling. Don’t let that fool you, she is still poised to win. And one way or another, she will.