Iona Jones and Brenda Clesi

Photograph of Laura Laurent, Brenda Clesi, Britney Laurent and Iona Jones taken in 2001.

Laura Laurent, Brenda Jones Clesi, Britney Laurent and Iona Bruce Jones in 2001.

The Web

My mom, Iona Jones was the greatest person I ever knew. She was a wonderful mother; I do not remember her losing her temper or yelling at us, at least not on normal days. I actually do not recall her yelling at me but maybe once or twice in my life. I wish I could be half the mother she was. Mom was a stay at home mom, so she was always home when I got home from school. I remember going to the store a lot when I got home from school and always my sisters (actually two were my niece but they lived with us so I just referred to them as my sisters) and I got candy, even if mom went before we got home she bought us a candy bar.

Mom cooked every night and we ate together as a family at five o'clock. Many evenings I would have a friend eating with us, my friends all loved my mom. On occasion daddy would work late and we had to wait until six o'clock in case he got home. One would think we had not eaten in days because we were hungry by five o'clock and starving by six o'clock and we would bug her until she would let us eat, sometimes she would eat with us and sometimes she would wait for daddy. Mom was the best cook, (my daddy is doing an excellent job). My son loved my mother's cooking and he loved it when she would fixed him a PB&J sandwich when he didn't like what was for dinner. He used to love spaghetti but since his grandma died, he is not very fond of it anymore.

I once heard someone say that everyone has something from their childhood that was bad, I told them that my parents provided the best childhood a girl could ask for. I never lacked for anything not material things, love, or support. My mom never told us she was too busy. My mother tucked me in each night until I married and moved away. My mother taught me the love of reading a good novel, we enjoyed reading several of the same authors and when she would would finish the book she would hand it to me to read. My mother taught me to sew, which most woman my age have no idea how to even sew a button. The one thing I regret is I never learned to cook, I never had any desire to learn, still to this day I don't enjoy cooking. My mom always had a cat or two and I share that same love for cats.

When I divorced and moved home, mom never judged me and was supportive. The kids and I lived with my parents until I remarried. After I remarried mom watched the kids before and after school while I worked. My children never came home to an empty house as a young child or had to stay in daycare. To make life easy mom cooked dinner for me and my family during the week. She was the greatest, she cooked up until a few months before she died and before she died, she gave my father cooking lessons.

I do not ever remember my parents fighting with each other. In my eyes, my parents had a great marriage, while my friends' parents were fighting and splitting up, mine provided us with a warm and loving home. My parents went out every Friday night for some time for themselves. I never thought it odd because it happen every Friday night of my life. My husband and I have followed their example and Friday evening is date night for us.

The past two years since my mother died has been the hardest of my life. Not a day goes by that I do not think of her smile, oh how I wish I could walk in the house and she would be sitting on the couch reading a book with a cat on her lap. However, life continues and so must we. I wanted so much for my mother to see me graduate from college, to see my daughter get married, and my son grow into a man. I am however thankful that my daddy is still with us.

My son recently has been very sad that his grandma is gone, he broke down just a few weeks ago, crying hysterically that he never said good-bye and he is afraid that his grandma is mad at him for it. Here we are two years later and my son he is now allowing himself to grieve for the one woman he thought walked on water, his ally, and his friend. For me it brings the saddest time once again into the limelight.

Written by Brenda Jones Clesi in Kenner, Louisiana, 2005