05 November 2009

Remember, remember...

Today is the 5th of November, and for those in the UK (and for our household here in the States) it is Guy Fawkes Day, or "Bonfire Night". It is also the anniversary of my Mother's death. As you can imagine, that means this day is a mix of happy and sad. Happy memories of spending Bonfire Nights with family in the UK, and sad memories of losing my Mother.

However, this is also an opportunity to remember the happy times while my Mother was still alive. The silly things, the infuriating things, and such memories that come with a lifetime of someone in your life who raised you, taught you, whom you depended upon, and who depended upon you. I've recently been reading a book called "The Meme Machine", and it occurred to me that I have acquired a few "Mom Memes". Mainly phrases that she used that have now become a part of our vocabulary, because of their amusing nature (sometimes intended, sometimes unintended). There are many, but here are a few of our favourites:

"Helleuwwww" - this is a bit of an exaggeration. Mom, being a southerner, had a bit of a southern drawl, and in particular, this seemed to have really come out in the form of a drawn out 'Hello' when answering the phone. My husband first mentioned it, as it was particularly noticeable to him, having come from England and having a 'different' dialect himself.

"Whadjaget?" - This phrase accompanied the arrival of mail for me...especially if it was a package. Graham once suggested sending me a "naughty" gift in the mail - I begged him not to, or to at least send it by way of a friend so I wouldn't have to do the show and tell. This phrase has haunted me since childhood - any time I was the recipient of a gift, whether Mom knew what it was or not, I was confronted with "whadjaget?" On Christmas mornings, as I was crawling under the tree to see what Father Christmas had left, I was serenaded with "whadjaget?" When it was time to look in the stocking (which, no matter how many times I told Santa that I didn't like walnuts ALWAYS contained a handful of unshelled walnuts), its being handed to me was accompanied by "whadjaget?"

"Floor it!" and "Goooooooo!" - Whenever Mom was a passenger in the car, and the light changed, one of those two phrases inevitably passed her lips. Less frequently, but no less passionately, "blow 'em off the road" was uttered if we found ourselves driving behind someone moving slower than Mom thought they should be.

Those are our favourites, and we say them to each other often when the situation permits, in fond remembrance of my Mother. So, although she's in my thoughts especially today, she always comes to mind when an occasion arises to use one of her 'Nancyisms'.

Tonight, we shall pour a glass of wine and say a toast to her in remembrance. We haven't any fireworks for celebrating Bonfire Night, but maybe we'll pop off a few of our favourite "Nancyisms" and allow them to spark the memories.

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