Where are my good scissors?

by Mary Helen Darah

Where are my good scissors?!” made it official: I have turned into my mother. There was a time when I was clueless as to why my perfectly sane, maternal figure would be interrogating everyone in the house with that question. In my mom’s eyes, her special shears—which we used for all kinds of unmentionables—were meant strictly for sewing. Now, decades later, I am searching for my herb cutters that I soon discovered were used to cut a “sticky gunky thingy” out of Corgi fur.
Still, I have not completely morphed into my mom … yet. Although I am hanging on by a thread in the technology department. At least I can use my laptop for more than just playing Spider Solitaire and following people I cherish on Facebook. However, my trickle down DNA comes from a woman whose cell phone voice message begins with the prerecorded message, “You have reached the voice mailbox of Sue,” followed by my mom’s voice saying, “OK, Mary Helen, now what do I push?”
My mother was one of the first to purchase a rectangular disposable Kodak camera back in the day, eager to capture our family’s important events. When she picked up the developed film, she quickly realized that she had been holding the camera the wrong way. Needless to say, we could not use one of the 36 “eyeball” shots as one of our Christmas cards, but it explained her concern about her vision when seeing “really, really bright lights” while taking photos.
Another sign that the “momisms” are sinking in: I found myself counting the mile markers and reading every billboard (yes, out loud) on the way home from a recent trip. Even worse, I had already incorporated the standard, “Well that’s not good,” after anything my children would throw at me over the years. From the “I have a zit on prom night!” to “the guinea pig is stuck in the Barbie car,” received the same “Well that’s not good,” just like good old mom used to say to me. I also have followed her lack of having no idea of how to wrap up a threat—“If you don’t get your act together … I’ll do something. I have no clue what but something … and I mean it!”
My mom and I have had our differences, especially in the kitchen. I would be whipping up a lemon, caper, white wine chicken piccata and my mother would come along with an, “I think that could use a little BBQ sauce.” I do, however, cherish the similarities that prove I am her daughter. “Turning into my mother” will mean that I will be the “fun” grandmother that lets kids find worms in muddy gardens, practice loon bird calls and, like my mom, lose their bra skinny dipping and go “fishing” for it SUCCESSFULLY with a fishing pole and my lucky gold hook. I will share books, a love of nature, my Tarzan yell before jumping into a frigid lake, and share a good joke around a table of loved ones. I will tell the people in my life, “If it weren’t OK to make mistakes they wouldn’t have erasers on pencils,” and that the “five second rule” can be extended to 10 if anything homemade or containing chocolate hits the floor.
I will cheer for sports that I don’t understand, get lines on my behind from sitting on aluminum bleachers during sport season yelling “PULL! PULL! PULL!” at competitive swim meets with full knowledge that the competitive swimmer in the water won’t hear me, and scream “Good eye!” at a granddaughter way out in left field. I will stress the importance of watching a good sunset, being a non-smoker, wearing sunscreen, never losing your sense of humor, forgiving and always being of service to others. Most importantly, after I belt out a song that I THINK I know the words to, I will look at my friends and family and know with every ounce of my being that I have given them the feeling of being loved beyond measure.
Sunny Side Up is in honor and memory of Sue Scheib, a joyous woman who lived life to the fullest until she was unexpectedly called home on Nov. 28, 2019.

4 thoughts on “Where are my good scissors?

  1. Such a beautiful tribute to your Mom, Mary Helen. And I’m sure she approves every word you wrote. I lost my Momma a year ago, Christmas Day 2018. How I miss that wonderful woman and all of her sometimes beyond stubborn idiosyncrasies. I smile, giggle a bit, then cry like a baby. Our Moms are beyond a doubt, the best thing that ever happened to us. Sometimes I look in the mirror and say “my mother, myself”. I find myself uttering some of her frequent quirks like “I don’t go for that” referring to anything she didn’t like or want to do. My two sisters and I joke about that often, repeating her words, laughing, then crying. We didn’t realize it then, but those words would actually become music to our ears! Memories of our Mothers throughout our entire lives happen at odd times and places, I personally think they orchestrate these occurrences, whenever they wish, as they stroll over the river and through the woods in their new Heavenly surroundings. RIP Sue Scheib, you have earned your wings, you are Home Sweet Home ….

  2. Mary Helen, I so much apricate the love that you had for your Mother, there are so many memories about the times that the two of you shared. As you know I did not have the relationship with my parents the you were so fortunate to have. Regarding your being turned into your Mother is not a bad thing, in the short time that I have known your Mother I found her to be an amazing person with a kind and wonderful heart. Have to admit that my wife of 52 plus years is and had become her Mother in many ways. My Mother-in-Law was very kind to everyone and had a great sense of humor, that’s my wife. My Mother-in-Law always put everyone’s problems and concerns first, that is my wife. I can remember as a child my Mother always made sure that when we went to Coney Island to make sure that I was protected with sunscreen, my with makes sure that I do not leave the house without sunscreen. In the winter time my Mother always made sure that I was dressed warm before I went out into the cold. Now my wife has become my Mother again, if you would look into the back of vehicle you will find, extra blankets, heavy gloves, towels, two umbrellas, candy and power bars for nourishment. Yes, my wife has become my Mother and Mary Helen we should feel very blessed that we had these two wonderful people in our lives.

  3. A very loving tribute to your Mom. I too find myself mimicking my Mom, not intentionally, it just naturally flows from my mouth. I lost my Mom several years ago, the pain does ease, but cherish those Momisms, they keep her close in your heart.

  4. Reading this gave me chills and a tear. This is a mother that I can only hope to be. I say Holy Toledo a lot and my little Emma laughs and says it after me. You have so many great memories and for that I know your family will be forever thankful.

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