Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Of course I always think of my mother on Mother's day. She was only fifty-nine when she died and I think of her almost everyday, even after all this time. I am the oldest of ten children and therefore have memories of her that are perhaps very different from those of my younger brothers and sisters. I did not appreciate some of those experiences at the time but have come to know that those times shaped who I am today. There was never very much money but somehow she made sure we felt special. My first memories are of a time near the end of world war two and my Dad was serving in Europe during the occupation. I remember Oleo in clear plastic (?) bags with a button of red dye. It was a treat to be the one to squeeze the bag until the margarine was a pretty shade of yellow. There were air raid drills, blackout shades red paper pennies, liberty stamps and Mom baking cookies and turning the radio louder so my brother and I would not be afraid. Later, there was first grade. Our school did not have kindergarten so the principal would decide if you were mature enought. Of course I was but the following year my brother Bucky (Bob) spent the first week or so in the hall crying to go home. I occasionally remind him that I am still the most mature. Mom was always the one holding the family together. She and I were a team, caring for the house and the next baby born in to our family. I am not saying I was always happy with this arrangement, I did go through the teen years after all. But I do remember little things that are bigger in my minds eye today. When I entered high school, mother took me aside and told me that I would be getting two dollars a week allowance so I could get a burger and fries at the Buc's Cove just like the other students instead of the cafeteria every day. Boy, that was even enough money to buy a chocolate or cherry coke at the Blue bell cafe on the way home from school! I know now that was a financial sacrifice. Mom had only a ninth grade education and I knew she was proud of me. The weeks before graduation she and a friend took me shopping for a dress, the first store bought dressy dress and it was the most beautiful dress I had ever owned. She died just a few months after my own daughter graduated from high school and one of her gifts to Kelly was a beautiful coming of age letter. Who knew that this woman with limited education was so smart? I did! The card above is one I gave her when i was around eleven years old. It is rather large.

I hope that you notice that the dad is ironing his tie while Mom cooks, vacuum's and does laundry. It was the fifties after all.

Mom's life was hardly that of a queen, but she was royalty nonetheless.

I remember some of her Mother's days. The little Evening In Paris bottle above resembles and is in the right time frame for when I bought for the most beautiful mother in the world, the most beautiful perfume. And I bought it at the dime store No less!! I will always see her opening that bottle immediately and dabbing it behind her ears. Do I know today that she actually liked the scent? No, but she made me believe she did. My beautiful Mother with white rick rack earrings knew how to make a child feel special.

The last gift I remember giving in those young years was the McCoy pottery dutch shoe. Unfortunately this is not the shoe I purchased at that same five and dime. That one went missing after she passed. However, I knew she kept it close and when I found this one in an antique store for thirteen dollars, I bought it for old times sake. I paid perhaps three dollars for the original but worth the price to have something that reminds me of my Mother. I hope your Mother's day was full of good memories, good food, (cooked by someone else of course) and family you love with all your heart. I know mine was.


Margaret said...

This brought back some memories of my own, with the most distinct difference--we had a Guernsey cow and she produced lots of cream for butter.
Margaret said...

What a beautiful blog post.

Purple Pam said...

Nadine, that story brought tears to my eyes. Your mom was a special lady. Thank you for sharing that wonderful story.