A Mother That Was My Mother

Since I was laid off from work and most people related to me were dead I went crazy.
Let me explain real quick about "Most people related to me"

I was an only child.
My mother was an only child.
My son was an only child.

So when I got married to my husband I grew very attached to his mother.  She was a great person with spunk and a drinking problem.  It wasn't the drinking that was the problem, it was the pills she would take that would make her drunk after one beer problem.  Some days she was fine and could hang with the best of us.  She was a great party person.  I looked forward to her coming out to San Diego, because then I had someone to drink and smoke with.  I only smoked when his mother was in town. Hah, it was like I took one for the team, and if I was going to be stuck with Brian's mom, babysitter her, I am going to smoke.  That was the only time that Brian did not give me a hard time about smoking.

She was also my good luck charm.  When we would take her to Las Vegas, we would go off, just her and I. She would say let's go to the bathroom, and she would tell me which slot machine to play, and I would always win, and she went to the bathroom a lot.  It started off as a joke, because I would follow her to the bathroom so I could sneak a cigarette while Brian was busy at the tables.  He didn't really care for the slot machines but loved it when I would win.  His favorite game was roulette and after he taught me to play, the game was also my favorite as well.  When I would go with mom to the bathroom it was my time to smoke.  Since she would take so long to use the restroom, I finally started playing a slot machine while she was gone.  The first few times, we thought it was just a fluke, but then we started paying attention to what we were doing and the type of slot machine, hence why mom would tell me which on to play.  Brian thought that we were crazy, but he liked the fact that her and I got along.  

She was like a mother to me, at times she got on my nerves, as most mothers do, but she was always there. 
Sometimes that was a good thing, and sometimes not.  She has a keen ear, and some sort of trick where she would magically appear out of no where.  I depended on her.  When Brian died, we stayed close, but I tended to pull away at times, just because I was tired of taking care of everyone, and I needed someone to just put their foot down and take care of me. She lived in Buffalo NY, and when we moved to Virginia we would always drive up for the weekend to either hang out, go to a football game or help her put something together.  Before we moved to Virginia, we lived in San Diego, California and when she would come out and visit she would come out for 6 weeks.  IN a two bedroom apartment it was quiet cramped and I was just very happy that I got to get out of the house for work and for school.  Some semesters I was just taking classes so I could get out of the house.  My husband golfed and I went to school.  To each their own, right?

When we would go to Buffalo, mom would always have snacks for us.  She treated Bryant like her own grandson and me, like her daughter.  She did have a daughter as well as another son, but I think she was closest to Brian.  He really went out of his way to make her life better and I tried to support that as much as I could.  Once we moved to Virginia, it was a solid unannounced rule that Thanksgiving was at her house. Brian and I would go up for the entire week.  Brian and moms friend, John, would take Bryant and go hunting. Mom and I would drink coffee, watch Lifetime movies and smoke all day.  Even though mom talked a lot and would repeat stories many many times, I loved her.  Each night, when Brian and I would take her to go out drinking we would basically pick straws to see who was babysitting her that night.  We had a whole group of people that would take care of mom though.  She loved it best when she would come to Virginia for a few days and just hang out. Brian would give her money for gas, and spending money and it was fun.  I remember one week, that weekend was her birthday and Brian acted like it was no big deal. I sat down with him and told him that he needs to tell mom to come down for the weekend.  She loved knowing that she was needed or wanted.  She would then say that she couldn't afford it, or she had all of these to-do things to get done and that she didn't want to bother us, but I knew as she was telling this stuff to Brian on the phone, with one hand she was holding the phone, with the other, she was throwing stuff in a suitcase. 

When she would come down for the weekend or a long weekend, she came prepared.  it was funny helping her unpack.  First off, she took the entire basement when she would come down. She had the outside, so she could smoke, a refrigerator in the basement so she could drink her beer, and her own bathroom.  So she would bring like two suitcases,  Then a cooler as well, for food that we don't have in Virginia. Kimelwick rolls was number one on the list.  John would have her bring deer meat or jerky to us, and whatever fruit or stuff was on sale that she thought that we needed.  

She would always, always bring me something small for my kitchen. That was her thing.  She bought me some of the neatest stuff.  A recipe card holder, a cow figurine, she got me this nut grinder as well as a real teaspoon that was grams.  She gave me all sorts of stuff that ever kitchen needed but never got used. Every time I go in a kitchen drawer, my mind flashes back to seeing my kitchen drawers with the stuff she got me.

She loved her Seltzer water.  Would bring gallons of it.  Because of course, we don't sell it here.  She would also bring pounds and pounds of pecans.  She would give them to all of our/her friends.  I think if we had the room, she would have moved in with us.  I think it would have been fun at times, as long as I could walk back into my house from hers.  

We talked on the phone a lot.  I mean for hours.  Even if you talked with her every day, she would find something to talk about.  I started only talking to her once a week, but the conversations would last for hours, so then I started calling her every other day, those also lasted for hours. It was a no win scenario.  Usually when I saw her name on my caller ID I got my smokes, made a pot of coffee and made sure that the phone was charged.  She would always tell me what was going on with the neighbors as well as the other son and daughter.  She was good at getting gossip.  Slick like, she was always listening to everyone and just ask a question once in awhile and would come back with reams and reams of gossip.    

She was adopted and an only child as well, so we had a lot in common.  I even made her come to my work, when I worked at a school and help out on field trips to the zoo.  She never said no.  One moose thanksgiving dinner she had to make stuffing for 200 people.  The stuffing that she made was the best ever.  I do not like stuffing, but hers I would gobble up.  She only made it once a year for Thanksgiving, and it was amazing.  

After a few years, we had an armoir in the laundry room part of the basement and we finally cleaned that out so she would have a place to keep some of her stuff. After the first summer, it looked like she was moving in, and I swear to God, if Brian hadn't died, she would have taken full control over the storage area int he basement.  I could tell she had plans.  Her mind was simmering, and the wheels were turning on what she could get away with doing.  Those small, harmless fixer uppers, that not too many would notice.  She would screw something in one time.  Then on the next visit she would figure out what she could leave behind because of the extreme weather changes compared to Virginia and Buffalo NY.  I'm sure they were minor.  If we had given her a few more years, all of her stuff would have been moved into that basement. 

She loved being a Moose member as well.  This was the one person that you could count on to help with anything that was going on. Oh and especially after Brian was governor. She would carry his title around like she was the first mom of the moose.   She would brag about it with everyone. She would be in NY or NC, later on after she moved there, going into that moose and telling every one that her son was a governor.  She was proud, I get it, but kind of cheesy in the same instance.  Cute.  I would always walk away in embarrassment.  She always talked about Jewish people squeezing water out of a turnip, but she had some classic moves.  

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