By Kay Dee Royal
My mother birthed four daughters, me being the oldest and also the tallest in my family. Mom loved playing the piano, especially her favorites: Five Foot Two Eyes of Blue and Alley Cat. I don’t know if anyone here recalls the Lennon Sisters, but my mother determined her girls would be singing stars on either the Amateur Hour or The Ed Sullivan Show. She lined us up – tallest to shortest – and then, yes, we sang. I recall getting angry when my sisters didn’t sing right. I think I even huffed off a few times;)
Mom wore these slippery-soled flip-flop slippers any time she didn’t have to go out anywhere. She fell down our basement stairs wearing those things. We all heard the fall. She moaned and it scared us. I was pretty young when this happened and afraid I wouldn’t be able to help her, so I called our neighbor, Roger. None of us walked downstairs until Roger came. Mom was so embarrassed when Roger flew down the steps and found her sprawled out on the floor in her nightie. Apparently, she’d been afraid to move and he got an exact shot of her landing. She ended up being okay, lots of bruises, including her ego.
One summer vacation my sisters and I decided we’d get Mom into the lake. She was deeply afraid of the water, didn’t like getting her face wet. We talked her into floating out on an air mattress with us, promising we’d not float out too deep. It was a bit of a fiasco getting her on the air mattress without her getting wet. We pulled her and the floaty out near the end of the dock. She lay back, tense yet smiling. All appeared good. A couple of us girls swam beneath her and bumped her in the bottom through the mattress. Mom screamed and shot off that thing so fast. She went completely underwater and panicked, even though it was shallow enough she could have stood up just fine.
Mom got so darn mad at us. Coughing and sputtering all the way to the beach where she shoved her feet into those darn flip-flop slippers. She rushed up concrete block steps toward the cottage and halfway she fell, taking a nice chunk out of her shin. It put her out of commission for the rest of vacation, left a nasty scar too. Needless to say, we all got into bigger than normal trouble over it.
After Dad and Mom divorced, she threw herself into fun and bought a convertible car. I was fourteen at the time and freaked about anyone seeing me in that thing. None of my friends’ parents had anything like it. I honestly rode around in it with my head bent down over my knees so no one would see me. Well, one day, Mom insisted I ride in the front passenger seat. My sisters sat in the back. Mom made me sit straight up…so, when we drove up to a railroad crossing (at a time before stop signs or RR crossing gates were around to stop a car) I yelled, “TRAIN.”
Mom screamed and slammed the brakes, tires screeching and sisters hollering too. I swear we all had whip-lash. She reacted instantly and once stopped, she noticed there wasn’t a train. Another simultaneous reaction occurred...my first slap across the face. I must say, looking back, it was well deserved.
I wonder how Mom could stand putting up with us, but thankfully, she always did.
At Prom time, Mom and I shopped for a dress everywhere. I wasn’t the easiest body for fitting – 6 ft. tall, broad shoulders, with a wire thin body. We didn’t find anything. I decided I wasn’t going to prom. Mom and one of her friends, Marilyn, made me a dress, sky blue, empire fitted, a-line skirt, floor length, sleeveless, and so beautiful. My hands shook as I tried it on, and it fit like a glove. Mom came through shining like a super-star. We both got emotional over it.
As we all got older and Mom lost her second husband, we began taking Mother/Daughter trips, a couple to
Branson, MO; Brown County, IN; Door County, WI; and . We’d take one a year, took lots pictures, and acted like crazy kids. These trips gave us such meaningful memories, reminiscing, laughing, picking on each other – lots of pictures, Mom smiling in all of them with her daughters. Chicago, IL
Then Mom’s darn slippers came into play…again. December 5, 2005 she slid out her back stairs and fell on a corner of her picnic table. She spent days in the hospital from a punctured lung cavity. After some extra testing, one thing leading to another, it was discovered Mom had a football helmet of TIA’s, a network of mini strokes throughout her brain. She also came home wearing oxygen because of COPD (compromised lungs).
A few years later, Mom was diagnosed with dementia, which gradually increased its debilitating affects on her. One sister, who lived close, and I divided our time monitoring Mom so she could stay in her duplex apartment. She had such an abhorrence of Nursing Homes (and to think she’d worked in one for years…maybe that’s why). She also refused to live with any of her daughters. “Won’t be a burden,” she’d say.
On August 5, 2010, Mom passed away, quickly and without pain or suffering by a massive hemorrhaging stroke.
Those crazy darn slippers, her favorite blue slippery-soled flip-flops, found their way into Mom’s casket. The sisters and I agreed those slippers were part of Mom’s world and should go along on her next journey.
Through years of teasing, making fun, and also loving my mother, she loved me unconditionally. This authentic love was her one major life lesson. She shared it well, without my even realizing it was a lesson. Bless you, Mom.
Books By Kay Dee Royal:
Big Girls Don't Cry Wolf (Paranormal Erotica Romance) - Through Muse It Hot Publishing - Find it at:
One Plus One (Contemporary Erotica Romance) - Releasing December 2011 Through Muse It Hot Publishing