The ‘Opian Mom

Since she came home (19 months ago), I’ve been talking to Addis about her “Ethiopian Mom”. I don’t think anyone would be surprised that I’m bringing her up, but people have seemed surprised that I’ve started so young. Why start talking about her when Addis is so little?

Well, she shouldn’t remember being “told”. She should always just know. As time goes by,  she will have moments where she suddenly “knows” what a part of her story means, but it shouldn’t be news to her. It is HER story, her history, and always having heard it will (I think) help her to internalize it and not be thrown off kilter later in life.

Also, starting right at the beginning means I’ve had plenty of time to work on telling it! Yes, it sounded very awkward at first! Sometimes it still does. But by the time the two of us can have a discussion about it, I will have had a lot of practice.

So what do I tell her? Well, I’m not going to tell You all the details, now am I?? We include her in prayers; “Please bless Addis’ Ethiopian mom that she has good health & let her know Addis is safe & loved”. Addis often (Often!) asks if I have a baby in my tummy. I tell her no, that I won’t have one in my tummy again, but that Jasmine & Ponyboy were in my tummy when they were babies. That Addis was in her Ethiopian Mom’s tummy. She has asked what her ‘Opian mom’s name is… Stuff like that.

There is an Ethiopian teenager that lives an hour or so from us who we see on occasion. When we do see her, Desta holds Addis a lot & says she’s going to keep her. Addis loves this! Recently, after asking if I have a baby in my tummy, Addis said: “Maybe Desta my ‘Opian mom?” I thought this was SO sweet! And also kind of sad.


Have Dessert First


Last Thursday was Groundhog Day. I missed it. Yes, as a matter of fact, I was re-living another day. 365 Days previous was The Day My Mom Died.

I got very little done last week. No laundry. Kept falling asleep. Really don’t have a clue how dinner got done. I had other obligations too that I let fall through the cracks. And, man!, did I have a headache.

A friend of my Mom’s occasionally “tags” me in a pic on FB that have my Mom or the beach in them. The beach was her favorite place to go. She’d smear some jelly & peanut butter on a piece of bread, fold it, grab a bottle of water, her hat, & a towel & she was gone. It didn’t matter if it was August or February, as long as it was nice enough to walk on the beach.

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Of course, there were times were getting to the beach just wasn’t going to happen. Fortunately my family lives on the coast & there is lots of Water. Going down to the dock to feed seagulls was an option. The Waterfront Park is a few minutes away, and you can get lunch while sitting outside in the shade. Or just out on the deck. At high tide the river comes up to the back yard. The next door neighbor has a dock, & some summers you can watch an otter playing on it.

Mom was known for (*ahem*, occasionally) playing hookey from work to go to the beach. She was also known for saying “We had better have dessert first, in case we don’t have room later”.

My Fall of Giants

Tonight I’ll be finishing Fall of Giants, by Ken Follett. I absolutely loved (& read a dozen times) Pillars of the Earth. Although I can’t say he is a favorite author  of mine, these are both great reads!

Cover of "Fall of Giants (The Century Tri...

Cover of Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy)

FoG pretty much gripped me on page one. And it never let up. I was surprised that, with the large cast of charachters, he was able to bring them all to life & I was able to keep them all straight & care about them! With all of the WWII stories I have read, WWI stories are in the single digits. Now I know more about it. And the picture it painted of Wales, Britian, & Russia at that time were vivid.

One of the reasons it got me on the first page is the story about the Welsh coalminers. Early in the century, the coalminers striked. The book (*which I haven’t read. yet.) & movie How Green Was My Valley chronicles some of their trials. I only watched the movie after being pressured by my Mom. Her mother, my beloved “Nan”, grew up a Welsh coalminer’s daughter. I have been told that when they striked, Nan’s father never worked again. And my Mom says that when she visited Wales as a child the scene of the coalminers coming down the hill covered in soot is just what you see in the movie.

So that definately endeared the story to me. As the book was wrapping up, the war is ending & soldiers are returning “home”. It occurred to me that I never heard Nan talk about this period. Or even what it was like growing up in a coal town. My Mom died 363 days ago. I know there’s been a few times over the last year that I thought, for a split second, “I should ask Mom”. I don’t remember what those things are, but obviously the “what” isn’t the important part. That I missed the boat on any more questions is What Sucks.

I do, however, have a consolation prize. My aunt gave me (loaned me) my Nan’s manuscript of her life. I am going to have it copied & bound for a few family members.