My Mother’s Voice

When I was a little girl my favorite time of year was Christmas. I am sure this is true with a lot of kids. Now as an adult one of my favorite memories is of my mother at Christmas time.

It is not because she would bake endless batches of Christmas cookies, because in truth she did not. She couldn’t bake a boxed cake with out something going wrong. It was not because of the big Christmas dinner she would make and even if she could not bake she could cook like no one else. She was a great cook. Mom did her best at making Christmas a wonderful thing for all of us, in generic American way. We had no special traditions taught to us from Grandparents from the “Old Country” or anything special like that. Just a standard Red and Green store bought Christmas in our house.

What I remember about my mother is more personal and more comical than that and one of the most cherished things in my memory. Mom’s favorite singer was Frank Sinatra and so, of course, we had his Christmas album. Every year we got that tired old scratch piece of vinyl out and played it along with only a small handful of others she owned. When the song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” would come on, she would sing along with the background singers.

Well for those of you who never had the chance to know my mom she was more vivacious then all of her kids put together, kind as a person could be and had a zany side that is only reviled by my sister Renee (who I will write about sometime soon). But here is the funny part, Mom could Not sing. She was as tone deaf as a brick and when she would start singing along with the LP she would hit every note but the ones they were singing. I remember hearing her do that for the first time as a very young child. I must have turned every shade of red out of embarrassment for her and I know she saw it in my eyes and on my face. She looked at me and smiled with her own cheeks turning a little pink from being caught singing out of key. She said something about her not being able to sing but enjoying doing it. I was too young to clearly remember what she said, I must have been only about 3 or 4 years old. This early exchange between us did not stop her from doing it year after year still out of key and still straight from her heart.

Now, what feels like at least 5 life times later, whenever I hear that song I am taken back to that moment. The one moment in time when my mother and I shared a smile and a Christmas song. I know for a fact it was not my mother’s favorite but it is one of mine, because of her. Now as a grown woman, whenever I hear that song at Christmas time, I hear my mother’s voice singing along. It is as if a little wormhole in time and space opens up and her voice comes ringing though it. It makes me miss her. It makes me wish I could go back in time and sing with her. It makes me yearn to hear her voice once again, whether its singing out of key, yelling for me to get the phone, or talking to us at the dinner table.

For those of you who have lost your mother at some point in your life I am sure you can understand that there is no sound more beautiful than you own mother’s voice.

2 Responses to “My Mother’s Voice”

  1. Denise Gallant Says:

    She did not sing out of tune! She had a very pretty voice. The one I can’t listen to without crying is David Bowie and Bing Crosby’s Little Drummer Boy. When they appeared on TV singing that around 1985ish, I think we were all watching it as it was a Bing Crosby special. I remember thinking that in some way, that is appropriate as they remind me of each other. Actually almost all the Christmas songs are mom’s. Except for “Do you hear see what I see”, which I associate with 1969 and the ‘peace’ movements. I just looked it up for the first time, and it actually was written in 1962 as a result of the Cuban Missil Crisis….so it really was a peace song. But the one I really associate with Mom is from the same time in my life as your Drummer Boy – But 14 years earlier when I was also about four – I am in the car waiting for mom to come out of a store. We are in Van Nuys probably on Ventura Blvd and it is really pouring rain. While watching the water overflow the sidewalks I was singing her favorite Christmas song of that time – Silver Bells.
    By the way, what is a blog?

    • Denise, Mom sang very out of tune maybe she was better when you were young. But thanks for sharing the other memories.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: