Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Sylvia - Sentimental Sunday #14

Today would have been my Mom’s 87th birthday. Sylvia Maurine was born in Alameda, CA to Maurine and Roland. Unfortunately Grandpa didn’t hang around for many years. He left when my Mom was only 3. From that point it was just Grandma and Mom; but they had each other.

Times were hard – the Depression was in full swing. For a period of time Grandma’s Sister, Mae Mae, and her daughter Nona lived with them. They helped each other get through those days of not having much. Grandma could play the piano, and she played in “saloons” at night to earn extra money. Sometimes Mom would go with her and sing and dance. One of the songs that Mom remembered singing was, “Alice Blue Gown”. (She was five or six at the time.)

Nona, Mom and Auntie Mae - 1980

Mom was a championship “Jitterbugger”. What an awesome dancer she was later in life – I sure wish I could have seen her dance when she was younger. She met Dad when she was 18. They married six months later when she was 19. Dad was in the Navy – the bombing of Pearl Harbor was only three months away.

Mom was a very talented artist. She took up oil painting after Sharon Lee passed away. It was a release for her; a way of working through her grief. She did oil painting, charcoal drawings, and in later life ceramics and porcelains. Unfortunately, when I came along I wasn’t much help in her progress as an artist. I wanted to “help”. One day, after she had spent all day working on the latest project, I decided to “help” when she was in the kitchen making dinner. I repainted the bottom portion of the painting. Needless to say, my help wasn’t appreciated and I don’t think I ever remember my Mom being that mad at me. I do recall that when Mom was painting, I spent a lot of time sitting in the corner being punished. I was handful, I know that.

Paintings by Sylvia
Stan Laurel 1966 ~ Little Miss Blue Jeans 1964

My Mom and I were really close. We spent a lot of time together; had amazing adventures; I was so fortunate that she was willing to be so open and honest with me about life, and love, and her opinions. I feel sad that I ended up hurting her so badly when I married my first husband. She only wanted the best for me, and I was too stubborn to listen to her. In the long run, I was the one that ended up being hurt by my choice, but I hurt her in the progress. Parents usually do know what is best for their kids – but as kids we just refuse to admit it sometimes. Fortunately, my Mom had the opportunity to meet and get to know Richard before she passed. She and my Dad both knew he was a good man, and they were happy that I met him. The night before she died Richard was in the room alone with her. She reached up to him and told him to take good care of me. She had my best interest and well being at heart, even at the end.

It’s hard to believe Mom has been gone for 23 years now. It seems like yesterday we were laughing and carrying on and dancing around the living room together. I’m so proud that she was my Mother. I miss her immensely, but am so grateful for the years we had together.

8 comments:

Columbo said...

What a great Lady. I was very fortunate to have met her and I could see what Cindy and her were so close. She was a very caring and giving person. She made me feel part of the family and I miss her very much. I can see where Cindy gets her tender, caring, and loving traits.

laura said...

She sounds like an amazing woman. And wow, what a great artist!

Patty said...

Beautiful tribute to your Mother.

Nancy said...

Your Mom was a wonderful artist!!!! What nice things to say about your Mom and having all those fond memories of your time together.

Megan said...

That was so sweet it brought a little tears to my eyes. Glad you had such a wonderful mother.

irish daisies said...

your mom sounds like she was an amazing person. i really love her paintings. wow she was a hottie in the first photo

Adrienne said...

That was great to read. I loved all the pictures too, especially the first one of your mom - gorgeous!I feel like I know her from all of your stories...

Mikki Moore said...

I feel so blessed to be apart of these unbelievable women. Very strong, loving and most of all...the humor. I love the way you write my darling cousin...I can just be there with them, in your stories. I have the same wonderful stories about Nan and Pop....we are blessed. Thank You, for your beautiful writings.

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