Sunday, May 9, 2010

To Thelma Lu, Thanks for Everything.

 Thelma Lucille Durham O'Shaughnessy  age 31 with oldest daughter Donna Marie O'Shaughnessy, age 11 months. You told me you were happy in this picture because I had just taken my first steps. Thanks mom, for showing me the way.

 Dear Mom,
      Its been 12 years since we celebrated Mothers Day together and I miss you. I miss the way you would let the hem out on my blue and white plaid uniform skirt, every year to make it last just a little longer . I miss how you would keep adding  water to the one pot of coffee you would allow yourself t make in the morning and then how you would reuse the grounds in the evening. I miss the way you would hide the red plastic wrapped bulk chuck of bologna in the frig behind the crisper drawers to keep your kids and husband from eating a weeks worth of luncheon meat in a single sitting, as we had been known to do.
     I miss the sound of playing cards slapping on the formica table as you competed in yet another pinocle match with your "hackling" friends. I miss watching you endlessly rock my little sister Bernie Jo after yet another long night of caring for your seriously ill baby. I miss the way you would curl our hair with socks, and then bobby pins and later in the more "prosperous" years, pink foam curlers. I miss the way you called our dad "Shagnasty" (among other things )and I miss the way you would say "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out !" whenever one of us threatened to run away.
     I miss how well you could wear dark red lipstick.
     I miss how you made a weeks salary last a month, how you loved Chinese food, how you thought Shower To Shower bath powder was as good as any expensive perfume. I miss how you would write me letters when I was at college or living 1000 miles away in South Dakota, or when you knew I was going through a tough time and needed some encouragement. I really miss the Maxine cards you would send me.
    I  miss your harsh smokers cough, even though it was in the end, the cigarettes that took you from us so early. That cough was unique to you and it was how we kids knew we were never lost at the huge KMart store. If we could hear you cough we knew we were safe and close by. Mostly though I just miss you and I'm sorry we did not have more Mothers Days together. But you are ALWAYS  and forever, in my heart.

I love you mommy.
Your Madame Butterfly


  1. Absolutely love the tribute to your mama! I cried. This made me think about all the things I love about my own mother. Thank you, Donna.

    Big J

  2. Donna,

    I love you. Thank-you for writing this.


  3. What a wonderful tribute to your Mommy! She had so many kids in diapers. Love you and miss you already.


  4. Momma, thanks for being the healthiest 51 year old I know so I have lots of time to tell you these kinds of things. I love that my grandma always had gum. I love that my kids' grandma always has ENERGY and fun ideas and LIFE to share with them.