Saturday, January 01, 2011

No Roses today

My Mom loved a good parade, and the Tournament of Roses Parade was her absolute favorite. As long as I can remember, Mom would get up early on New Year's Day to start making all the food for a day of parades and bowl games, and while things were cooking we would sit and watch the Rose Parade. She never failed to be amazed that all the floats are covered in flowers. "That's all flowers and plants. How do they do it?" she was say in awe--every year.

My first year in Los Angeles was rough. Mom and I didn't speak for nearly that whole first year. My cross-country move was not a popular decision back home. On my first New Year's Day in LA, I had no job, no television, no telephone, and no parade with Mom. I was miserable. The following year, things were looking up. I had a job, a phone, still no TV, but I did call Mom first thing on New Year's Day and let her describe all the floats to me while we caught up. I suggested she come visit me and we could watch the parade in person. "Yes, that would be great!" she said.

Years passed, things got better, I finally had a TV and discovered the KTLA uninterrupted Rose Parade magic. I called Mom every year and watched the parade with her over the telephone. Since Mom relied on Network coverage with commercial breaks, I would describe the floats she missed. Every year, we'd make plans for her to come to LA for Christmas and stay for the parade. But it never came to be. Money was tight for both of us, and Mom hated taking short vacations, wanting to come for three or four weeks! Seriously? I loved my Mom, but I also had jobs (two of them for most of my life) and what would she do alone all day except clean my apartment and find things. She wasn't the type to venture out on her own and explore the city.

Last year, I watched the parade with my Mom as usual. It was the last conversation I would have with her. She died a month later. I know that our last conversation was filled with love and we got to share her favorite thing one more time. But I just couldn't watch the parade this year. I slept straight through it. I will avoid KTLA all day today so as not to catch a re-broadcast either. Maybe next year will be better. This year, I miss my mommy.


Bob and Jo Ann said...

Totally understandable...the holidays were a big deal for my mom, too. We had to put her in a nursing home due to advanced Dementia. This year she wasn't really aware that it was Christmas. It was really tough.

Sending warm wishes your way.

Annika said...