I tire of hearing people bash their mothers. I suppose some people had truly cruel, abusive mothers and that is tragic, but it's the whiny "my Mom is driving me craaazy" stuff that gets to me. There were probably times we both drove each other crazy, but I really miss my mother.
Once she was visiting me when my small quilt group met. One of the women showed a quilt with two sides that represented her parents. The "Dad" side was a bowtie pattern in somber tones. It represented her harsh, cold father. The "Mom" side was a crazy quilt that represented her mother who was disorganized and incompetent and unreliable and self-absorbed. After the group left my Mom sighed deeply and said, "Terry, promise me you'll never make a quilt about me!" I laughed and said, "don't worry, that's not my thing."
What I wish I had told her is that, in some way, all my quilts are about her. She shared her precious art supplies with me when I was very small. We painted pictures together. She taught me to sew and shared her love of art and color and design with me and bought me drawing lessons and painting classes and encouraged me to study art and never told me it was impractical or not important. She hung my paintings and my quilts with pride.
My cousin recently sent me this picture, found among my aunt's (her sister) belongings. I had never seen this picture of my mother before. She was 14 and you can see in this picture how confident and spunky (and how pretty) she was. She was smart and bold and brave. She established the first battered women's shelter in Idaho (which is still in operation and about which women have said their lives were saved because it was there for them) and she always stood up to injustice and prejudice of any kind. And she made the greatest pies—really—the greatest.