Friday, October 19, 2012

Who is/was my mom?

While I don't intend this blog to be a memoir in a traditional sense, it seems like I should start by explaining who my mom was before this all started.  Since this blog is peripherally about her, it seems like you should all know that she was not always like she is now.  She was (and still is) a very precious soul.

My mom, Esther, is 83 now.  She was born on a farm, the youngest of five children.  Her mother died when she was 14, and she was expected to be the "woman of the house" at that point, cooking and cleaning for the men.  When she was 18, she moved to the city.

She was 38 years old when I was born, my dad was her second husband.  Her first husband had passed away several years earlier, they had never had any children.  I was the first.

At the time I was born, my mom worked as a clerk for the State of Minnesota.  It was normal "way back then" (in the '60's), for a woman to quit her job once the children started coming, and to stay home with the kids.  And that's what she did.  My brother was born a year and a half after I was.

She was an amazing mom.  She volunteered at the school.  She took part in the PTA.  She made our lunches, took us to the playground, taught us how to play checkers and Yahtzee.  When I was sick, she had certain rituals that were designed to make me feel emotionally better, even if they didn't cure my cold--hot jello, chicken noodle soup, a special cup, a special blanket.....

As I got older, I failed to appreciate the treasure I had--my mom would have walked on hot coals for me, but I, a teenager, was "too cool" to acknowledge it.  I would ask my dad for money, and he would say "no".  But as soon as he left, my mom would sneak me a five.

My mom was always shy and quiet.  I inherited that from her.  She was also quite intuitive, which she also passed on to me.  She could somehow sense good and bad in people, long before others could.

She liked to listen to the radio, and she liked to sing.  Mostly, though, she wanted to make my brother and I (and my dad, who passed away in 1987), as happy as could be.  That was what she lived for.

And that, is the foundation of love that this journey has been built upon.

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