Mothers are precious. They are not perfect, as we all know.
I talked to someone just this past week who was pained by how she had not always appreciated her mom .... her idiosyncrasies, her unique way of doing things. And she realized that her mother's heart was motivated by love. How well I know this... my mom had a way of connecting with all her children and grandchildren and was the glue that connected us... through her we heard family news, and felt connected as a whole.
We also loved to tease my mom, and she would react with her innocent smirk, and continue to be her own person. I loved that about her.
Which brings me to golfing.
Last week I shared how I like rules sometimes. When it came to golfing, mom played by her own rules. After a while we just gave up, and said we played by "Friesen rules". You might want to try it!
Mother loved golfing. Not any fancy schmancy courses, but the little ones where we were free to be ourselves. She especially loved Highlands Golf course, here in Vernon, partly because she loved the hills and this particular golf course is perched on a hill.
I always found this course challenging, because of the boomerang effect, the balls would bounce right back at me as I tried to shoot them up the hill. Coming down was much easier.
But that mattered not at all to mom, who turned her golf club into a walking stick and walked spryly up the hill. If we went every week in the golf season, she was happy.
Of course, dad loved to keep score, and mother dutifully kept the score pad and pencil in hand. But (sorry, dad), it was hardly accurate.
To start with we could begin as many times as we liked. I know (by being knowledgeable about "the rules"), that you count every extra swing - or mulligans. But that didn't apply when we played. "Try again, honey!", she would look at me sympathetically, and so I did.
I have to tell you about her swing. I can see her shaking her head at me now, but it was a thing of wonder. She swung her golf club like a pendulum... and it went back and forth, more than once often, and then she would connect. She was amazingly accurate, and could hit fairly well. It was wonderful to watch, but you did need to step out of her way!!
If the ball happened to land in an undesired spot, Mother would think nothing of removing the ball and carrying it to a more desirable location. She did this for me on numerous occasions, and if I protested, she just gave me that loving look. And we played on...
She didn't like to lose a ball. She had a wonderful thing-a-ma-jig that would fetch balls out of water or difficult places. More than once we had to encourage her to let it go... and to be safe as she perched in precarious places trying to rescue her ball. And it was always a great game when we came away with more balls than when we had started with.
And then there was the counting... we were never that serious about it. Well, perhaps the men were, but we always stopped counting at 6 strokes... and then, maybe was that 5? It didn't really matter. And if you were frustrated with your putting, you could just plop the ball in the hole and call it done.
Talking of putting, there were times when mom could see the ball was going too far... and she would help a bit. She would put her feet in a V and catch that run-away thing. She was so very helpful.
I do have to admit, my attitude wasn't always good. I wanted to play a good game, and wanted to play by "the rules" at times. But as I look back, my heart aches, and tears come to my eyes, and how I wish I could play with her again.
A year after she died, we went with my dad to play at Highlands. The proprietress as always was so friendly and welcoming and told us how she missed our mom. "Her laughter would drift down the hill" she told us.
And that is what it is all about. Loving the times we had. Good memories, chasing a golf ball, enjoying incredible views from the hill-top, laughing about our silly golf game, and just being together.
So... cherish the memories. I know I do.