Thoughts about Mom – Part 5

This will be my last “thoughts about mom” post. There, of course, is SO MUCH more I want to share, but I feel as though it is time to reflect on the rest in my own time (and I think it is time to get back in my school-mode). This post will focus on something very important to her = MUSIC (with some important Toni-isms).

My mom LOVED MUSIC. She loved everything – gospel (we even had a guy at the funeral sing gospel. Her dream was to have a gospel choir {and I know what she really wanted was a choir from somewhere like Allen University or SC State, but Marty did the best he could in such short notice. The guy we had was good. She would have enjoyed it}). She wanted Marty to play Ave Maria on the guitar and she wanted everyone to sing her favorite song, Seasons of Love from RENT. Done and done.

Other music she enjoyed was Capitol City Playboys (Marty’s band), The Doors, Bob Marley, Janis Joplin, Zydeco music, the blues, Rod Stewart, Billy Jonas, my friend Rob, the Crooners and Swooners show Marty used to put together at Art Bar, Rock Candy (Marty’s old cover band), and musicals. She LOVED musicals. I am so glad we got to see last season at the Koger Center together (Legally Blond, Grease, Color Purple…she loved these shows). She also loved going to shows at Trustus and Workshop. Her favorites were anything with Darion McCloud and Chad Henderson. She loved Hedwig and the Angry Inch, RENT, Rocky Horror, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, and just about any other live theater show. Lastly, she LOVED Christmas music. She didn’t even mind that it started playing in stores in October. That just made her happy.

To sum up the last couple of weeks – it sucks. It still feels sort of unreal. I keep thinking of those last couple of days, which were the hardest in terms of pain and frustration for her. I know those thoughts will go away and be replaced by happy memories. There are things I am REALLY not looking forward to. In particular, Christmas. This Christmas alone was hard…seeing all the mother/daughter shoppers around. But, at least I was able to see her and ask her for suggestions on what to get people. I won’t be able to do that anymore and that makes me sad. BUT, I have all of these happy memories and I know that is what my mom would have wanted me to focus on (Dad too). Thank you, again friends, for all of your love and support. I also know that this will be a time to start new traditions and that will be nice too. More time with the Forts. More travel with Dad. Change is part of life, yes?

Next Sunday I will resume writing about fairly boring storytimes and lessons that I am doing with my students. Maybe you’ll enjoy those posts just as much (more?) as the mom posts? I hope so!

Just a couple more tips and tricks I’ve learned from Toni over the years – Toni-isms!

*”Don’t germinate! When cooking, wipe up after yourself after each step. If you don’t, you are likely to transfer crumbs from one place to another and just end up with a big ol’ mess.

*Vacuum everyday. Even if it means that you replace your vacuum every 6 months (I have to admit that I don’t quite follow this Toni-ism…not yet anyway!

*Shop around.

*Put the phone AWAY (another one I’m not good at…working on it!)

*Presentation is important (did you ever get a gift from Toni? If so, you know what I’m talking about. Often the wrapping and presentation was better than what was inside the box!)

*Family (especially husband and kids) come first. Always.

*Tradition is important.

*Target has healing powers.

*Believe in something bigger than yourself and believe that there is an afterlife (I am sorry if this offends you). She wouldn’t kill a little spider for goodness sake! We had to scoop it up and let it free outside. That spider could be the next President!

*Birds are special.

*Cleaning is IMPORTANT. We have a housekeeper. My mom wrote a 4 page “to do” for the housekeeper. Mom said the stuff on this list was typical stuff that needs to be done every week and was stuff she did every DAY (did I mention that my mom was a tad OCD?). The stuff on the list that was most crazy were things like take everything out of the cabinets and drawers, wipe out, and replace. Take out everything from the closets, wipe out, and replace. Things that SOMETIMES happen only on Spring Break for SOME people. Things that happen NEVER for “regular” people, I’m thinkin’

*Stand up for yourself and don’t take anyone’s sh*t

*Celebrate the small things

Thank you for reading these super long posts about my mom. This has helped me so much. It will also help to go back to work and see my little Lions. I have MISSED THEM SO MUCH!

I can’t thank you all enough – I’m serious.

Love, love, love~



About Valerie Byrd Fort

I live in South Carolina. I am passionate about libraries, books, and reading. I am also a mom. This is my blog about those things.
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