Friday, July 19, 2013

A Fair Day for Mom!

A kind heart is a fountain of gladness,
making everything in its vicinity to freshen into smiles.
                        Washington Irving


In the little village where I grew up there has been a parade and a Fair long before I was born, I have only missed a handful of these since I am sure I learned how to run. The memories rush back as I watch my Mom wearing her new socks while sitting on her walker on the side of the highway with a big umbrella protecting her from the sweltering sun, surrounded by a family that is so happy that she is here and watching her parade and enjoying every minute of this family tradition. Oh this is truly where many memories have been made and are still being made.

My mind drifts back to a memory I tried to forget. Together we lift up the heavy white canvas and stick our heads through while lying in the dirt flat on our stomachs. Brother T and I did not have a quarter but our overwhelming curiosity did not let a little thing like that keep us from trying to see what all the fuss was about. As the long line of people stood at the front entrance we were at the back of this tent. I remember after getting my head through the tight opening I immediately scanned the inside of this tent to see what the big secret was. I could see a crowd of people standing around a little calf, to my horror I could see the calf had six legs, I immediately pulled my head out of that opening, I pulled myself up off the ground and I remember crying. That was the image that had stayed in my head for many a year after. Brother T stood up and said “Isn’t that cool?” No, I was still crying. “You are such a baby.” We ran back to Mom who was with the other kids and she asked where we had been and why my face was all dirty. I remember Brother T answering with the familiar “Nowhere”, I am pretty sure Mom did not believe that one at all.


This annual trip to the Fair has always been the highlight of our summers and we were always on our best behaviour for at least a week before this big event. The threat of “If you do not all behave, no one will be going to the fair” I remember the “No one” part and being the oldest I knew that was going to require some hard work on my part. Now that I think back to this threat I am pretty sure it would never have stopped Mom because she would have been punishing herself. Mom loved the Fair as much as we all did. Ultimately we would find ourselves huddled together with Mom pushing a buggy holding a couple of babies, everyone holding each other’s hands and Mom shouting “Stick together” while we walked through the gate. To this day I have no idea how she kept track of us all, maybe she did not as I think back to that head under the tent horror I cannot forget.

This brings me to this past weekend and after the family had all gone home to get ready to go to the Fair later in the day, and after watching the Village parade Mom went to take a nap. Mom wanted to go to the Fair and Lizzy for one was going to make it happen no matter what. It was arranged that Pearly would pick Lizzy, Lizzy's daughter and Mom up and drive them to the Fair grounds and drop them off at the Bingo hall. I was pretty sure on my seeing Mom there much later playing Bingo with such intense concentration and a huge smile on her face that she would be tired out and would happily go home to rest after playing Bingo for a while. Wrong!!


Mom after playing Bingo had Lizzy, Lizzy's daughter, myself and an assortment of other family members trying to keep up with her as she moved that walker through the crowds of people heading to where ever she wanted. I loved seeing this. It was like this walker which was new to her was really an energizer. She watched the Birds of Prey demonstration and on getting bored headed with that walker to check out the assortment of booths selling everything you could imagine. 

Then it was straight to the games where I noticed all the 20 something men smiling while watching this tiny white-haired lady almost running and practically jumping with excitement being closely followed by an assortment of grown children trying to keep up with her, these men were smiling no doubt thinking of their own Moms or Grandmothers back home. Lizzy asked Mom if she would like to go on a ride. Well I know you know what her answer was.


The old comical shaped brightly coloured cars running on a track seemed safe enough so Lizzy and Mom with the help of a very nice “Carney Worker” climbed into the first car so Lizzy's daughter and I could try to get some photos. Mom’s face was beaming. My mind flashes back to those times Mom was putting us on rides and now we were putting her on rides, it made me think about how our lives have changed so much. I watched my frail Mom and Lizzy go round and round while Mom waved and honked the horn. I watched full grown men and women stop and stare with huge smiles on their faces while watching this tiny white-haired lady with her big white Tilly hat covered with an assortment of pins she had been collecting for years, a smiling woman reliving the memories that had been lost but were now found. It was an incredibly moving moment. I again had tears in my eyes but tears of happiness not those ones of sadness and fear so very long ago while I was lying on the ground my head poked under a tent trying to see something I wished I had never seen.


This Fair weekend will be a memory that will last forever for every member of our family who were lucky enough to be there and I am pretty sure by the total strangers who were lucky enough to view this moment. There will be passing down of photos and stories of this strong woman who has never let anything get in her way of going to that Fair she enjoyed every year regardless of what life threw at her. Thanks Mom we are the lucky ones.

Later



42 comments:

  1. It's so sweet that your mother had such a good time at the fair. I would have liked seeing the tiny white haired lady on the ride honking the horn!

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  2. Wow, that is so so fantastic. I bet your Mum loved it too, bless her. What a spirit to have got onto a ride!! I love those Pink Panther socks too!

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  3. How fun and what another great memory for posterity.

    Your mom is amazing. xo

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  4. Your Mom has great spirit! So does her daughter....

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  5. The carnival is a delight in all countries, I think.

    Lovely post today!

    Pearl

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  6. What a fun time. I like to play bingo. And I love those pink panther socks!

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  7. Thanks for sharing this sweet story :)
    Wonderful Memories

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  8. You all made her day and she made some beautiful happy memories for all of you.

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  9. such a good day. a real blessing.

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  10. YAY for your mom!! I'm glad she ran ya'll ragged trying to keep up with her at the fair!! :)

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  11. What a Marvelous Story!
    Thank you so much.
    I know a little too much about carnivals and the old fashioned "side shows." i know how disturbing they can seem for tender hearts - May You Always have a tender heart!

    Love the inspiring, empowering message -
    are those YOUR feet & striped socks??? cute, cute, cute,

    Happy Friday!
    -g-

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  12. Wonderful words put into Memories for all of us to read besides yourself.

    When you mentioned your Mom was for you always and then now your looking after Mom and letting her be a child in her own child like way and at her age. Fantastic.

    Not sure if you have read a book where the Mother is there for her children growing up and now the son is carrying her.

    My daughter in-law read it to her children when they were small.

    I sat beside her and I cried. What a touching book. Until you become 50 and 60 and 70. You really never realize one day

    So your story was a touching story but so real in facts.

    We never know how long we have our Mothers so what you are doing now. You will never regret it and it will be memories of golden.

    I enjoyed the pictures and a sincere meanful blog.

    Thumbs up!

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  13. A wonderful day for everyone, one you will never forget!!

    Awesome socks!!

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  14. What a lovely time you had and such lovely memories, some of which I hope will replace the one about the xix-legged calf.

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  15. I just adore you and your Mom! What a wonderful day for you all!

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  16. You both must be very happy people. Nice post! ;-)

    Greetings from the Netherlands,
    Gert Jan

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  17. What a wonderful time y'all must have had! I am so glad you were able to take your Mom to the fair as a family and share that time together.

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  18. What a sweet story. :) No matter what age the fair is ALWAYS a blast. Just in different ways as we get older. :) Beautiful post.

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  19. Oh, what a sweet memory you have!! I hope mama just keeps right on truckin'!!!

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  20. What happy memories of fair time! I felt so bad for you in that story about the six-legged calf. I think that would have shocked me as well!

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  21. Just wonderful B!
    Lovely memories of the fun your Mom had enjoying her trip to the fair... with all of you once more.
    What a terrible sight that poor calf must have been. It's a cruel world sometimes.
    Finally, I love all those beautiful photos of your Mom. Her perky hat and her lovely hard-working hands.
    Cheers :D)

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  22. Somehow I feel that this fabulous story could be turned into a lifetime movie. What a wonderful, sweet and perfect way to spend a day. I love that you have created some new beautiful fair memories with your Mom!

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  23. I am so happy for your Mother...and Lizzy and Lizzy's daughter and all the others trailing behind watching this incredible woman.
    And I am most happy for you. The joy in your story is infectious.

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  24. Once again, I'm so late reading your blog today! The fair is such a wonderful place to go, I agree! I have wonderful memories of the parade...walking around the fairgrounds...and now our kids love it just as much! I'm so glad your Mom and you all had a great time!!

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  25. What a great day you all had!

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  26. When you talk about the change in roles between you and your Mom, it brings to my mind the thoughts I have been having with my own parents.

    I'm glad that your Mom had such a great time, and the weather looks perfect.

    Jen

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  27. Thank you for sharing that beautiful story. Now I have that image of a strong willed frail bodied woman enjoying the fair.

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  28. What a lovely, thoughtful post.

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  29. How wonderful for you all to have shared this day with your mom, and I LOVE her socks!

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  30. Beautiful memories.
    A fun day with your mum...hugs M xox

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  31. love your mocs, I wear them a lot and love your story. a person that can have a good time is a person for whom boredom will never be an issue. we should all enjoy life as much!

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  32. Glad you see what value these elders can give to our lives. My mother-in-law is 98 this year and if she hadn't hurt her hip, she would be doing the same thing. Now she is confined to a wheelchair, I know she must remember her past freedom. She was a get up and go woman. Now she is quite frail but she still hasn't lost her smile.

    Enjoyed your post!

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  33. This beautiful post has me so choked up, B. My parents came for a visit about a week ago. It was my Mom's 81st birthday. I just can't believe it. I don't want to believe it. Sometimes I'd give anything to be able to go back to the days when my Mom was a fresh faced young mother of three.

    Thank you so much for sharing these stories about your Mom, and just for doing what you do. I find so much comfort and inspiration here:) Hugs:)

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  34. Oh, thanks so much for sharing this. Glad you have pictures too. It's times like this that will always stay with you...like forever and ever...a place your mom will always be happy and thriving. I share these with you too. Mine are Cherry Blossom Festival memories..."me and mom" in our pink clothes eating Nuway hotdogs and, before we go home, having cherry ice cream. I so get this story. Love ya.

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  35. oh Buttons times like this make life worth living.

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  36. Ah, a wonderful day and wonderful memories. I'm so glad your mom had a great day and all of you enjoyed each other. Wouldn't it wonderful if we could all enjoy things with the open heartedness that your mom does?

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  37. What a wonderful gift. Thank you for giving your mom a memory.

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  38. wonderful! your love for your mom , warms my heart. That you have time and take time for and with her is so wonderful. After so many years working with seniors and community I am often saddened by how many folks don't

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  39. Now I have an imaginary image of a 6-legged calf in my head. Yikes!

    What a marvelous day to spend with your mom...or should I say trying to keep up with your mom? :-) It was a very touching story too.

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  40. What a wonderful story ...sounds like your mom was full of enthusiasm at the fair. Fun memories, well with the exception of your poor calf trauma ~ your brother probably recalled that as a highlight in his memory bank. :)

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  41. i was smiling right along while reading this! what a fantastic day!

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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