Friday, February 22, 2013

Looking Back On Mom

This is from and earlier post that I did but I wanted to participate in Flashback Friday at  Seaside Simplicity   Hope its worth a second look.

Growing up, New Years day was always a big celebration in our house because it was my mothers birthday.  My grandparents rarely celebrated her birthday because it was so close to Christmas but when she married my father he decided to make it a big deal.  For my poor dad that was no easy feat  because my mom was very very picky.  My mom rarely kept what he got her each year, more often returning it to get something more practical. That never dissuaded my dad who would still go out of his way to buy her something each year even though he knew she would probably take it back.

Well we lived in Queens and not far from our house in Ridgewood was a store called Jay Rose.  It was very exclusive for that time and my mother would longingly look in the window when we passed by but she would never go in.  So one year my dad decided to buy her some things from Jay Rose.  Now my dad was no Tim Gunn and had no idea of fashion. He was a big guy, over 6 foot and not so light on his feet.  When we got to Jay Rose my dad bounded into the store like a bull in a china shop.  The bell over the door jingling in triple time.  As we entered everyone stopped and starred, not sure if they had ever seen the likes of my dad entering their store.  A sales lady quickly came over wanting to help. My dad looked around the shop, his eyes resting on a mannequin dressed  in a yellow plaid pleated skirt and vest accessorized from head to toe including a yellow clock pendant.  Probably feeling uncomfortable in this very feminine place my dad pointed to the mannequin and said "I'll take everything on that mannequin".   I was only 6 but I knew that outfit was nothing that my mom would ever wear.  I think the sales lady noticed my shocked look and tried to persuade my dad to go in another direction but he was hell bent on that outfit.  Next thing I knew every sales person was called into action and they were pulling all the clothes from the mannequin, putting everything together in one big box with Jay Rose printed in big letter across the top.   They even wrapped it for him including a big pink bow.

On the way home I was nervous for my dad.  He really went all out, going to a place way outside of his comfort zone to try and give my mom a great present.  I could picture my mom opening the present making a face and returning it the next day.  So on New Years Day, my moms birthday, after we had cake, my dad brought out the present.  Mom unwrapped the box and gasped as she saw Jay Rose printed on the box.  Tears came to her eyes and she whispered  "Oh Joe".  I held my breath as she lifted the top of the box anticipating her usual negative reaction.  Instead she screeched in delight.  Wow was I off on this one.  I thought for sure she would hate this gift but she seemed to be in love with it all.  My dad was so excited.  He thought he had finally gotten it right.  He was on cloud nine the rest of the day.

Well he never seemed to notice that my mother never, ever wore that outfit.  I remember her putting it on a few times, looking in the mirror, taking it off and hanging it back up.  Over the years she cleaned out her closet many times, packing  up clothes for Good Will but that head to toe yellow plaid outfit remained in her closet for over 30 years.  I think she knew that it was not about the outfit but about the thoughtfulness and love that it represented.

So today on my moms birthday New Years Day she will be in my thoughts.

Happy Birthday Mom

Mom and Dad one of the few pictures of have of them together.  My dad is not looking too happy.

Every New Years Eve their friends threw a New Years Eve costume party.  My mom was very creative and was always trying make a better costume each year.  Because of his size she would always make my poor dad  a women.  He did seem to enjoy it.

Here is a picture of my mom with my kids and an anniversary party for my Aunt and Uncle.

I will be back soon with some more of my crafty ideas and projects.


  1. What fun photos of your parents! I love the costumes! Aren't you glad they took photos? Happy Friday!

  2. What a great post, it brought tears to my eyes! What a wonderful memory to have of your mom and dad. I'm so glad you shared this with us at Flashback Friday, and hope you will play along with us again soon!

  3. That's a lovely story about the gifts. And those pictures are priceless. My parents were New Yorkers too!
    Visiting from Seaside Simplicity.
    New Follower...

  4. I, too, grew misty-eyed reading this! The way you write, I could just visualize a 6-yr.-old you and your dad in that shop. :)
    Wonderful ... thank you for sharing that example of real love!

  5. Great memory of your parents! Love the costume photo. I stopped b from Seaside Simplicity.

  6. Lovely post Mary Ann! I can just picture it all from the time of getting into the shop and yr Mom opening her gift.