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Letter from Mom

August 3, 2008

It has been a while since I posted something from mom, so I wanted to satisfy the needs of those who always ask.

Just so you know, she sends me stuff nearly everyday, so I could do a blog of just her, but that would only make her send more, and my computer network would surely crash.

“They loved us”

My parents weren’t huggers and kissers,
and rarely if ever, said,”I love you,”
so I learned early on to look beyond
words to know if I was loved.
When I was two or three
and was sick with asthma and
my dad would hold me on his lap for hours
on the old rocking chair
pulled half way over the register
in the livingroom
throwing out heat from the huge coal furnace
in the basement, without words
he was telling me he loved me.
Mother made us clothes from old suits
she bought at the second hand store.
She could not afford to buy new material.
My two older sisters and I were
beautifully dressed. She loved us!
White pique collars, and anchor buttons
adorned the navy blue wool coats we wore.
Our beige cotton thigh high socks
were held in place by garter belts.
We all three vasolined
our black patten leather shoes
after Sunday school and church,
and put them away
in preparation for next Sunday.
However, I think my father
and the three of us
nearly drove her crazy.
She had what they called then
a nervous breakdown.
Eileen, a family friend
came to take care of us kids.
I remember peeking into
the upstairs bedroom where she rested
and wondering if she was going
to get better. I loved her!
After a few weeks she was back
cooking the best fried chicken,
chicken and biscuits and apple pie
in the world. I can still taste it.
She canned all the fresh vegetables
from dads garden. They loved us!
I was my dads Tomboy,
so I was chosen to keep him awake
during church.
Someone figured because
I went hunting and fishing with him
he would not get mad at me.
They were right. He loved me!
There was a war going on
but somehow my dad found
two new Schwinn bicycles.
They were navy blue and red,
the most beautiful bikes
I had ever seen. He loved us!
There was a war on.
My dad walked to work because
gas was rationed and expensive.
My mom fed the five of us
on fifty dollars a week. They loved us!
I found tadpoles in the creek
along the New York Central train tracks
that ran behind the house.
I used them and worms,
I hid in my hands
to scare my sister Nedra.
I loved her!
I watched through the upstairs register
as boyfriends came to see my oldest sister Janice,
and winced if she turned them away
with the candy or other gifts still in their hands.
I loved her!
I wondered if I would ever have a boyfriend.
My sisters told me I was too dirty
and sloppy. They loved me!
We were a family, doing what families do.
Surviving the times whatever they were,
because we had each other.
We walked to and from from school.
The first word out of our mouths
when we got home after school
was “Mom?” She was always there.
They loved us!

Oddly enough, what I remember of MY mom is her chasing my sister and I with a broom handle after we pushed her over the edge. She launched a total ambush as the two of us waltzed down the front porch in Wyoming thinking we escaped. Mom was like a Navy Seal, breathing from tube, with only the whites of her eyes showing. As we walked by she launched the attack. She missed, barely, and we were forced to paddle out to the center of the beaver pond near the house. The only thing that stopped her from swimming out after us, under the cover of darkness, to pierce our flimsy rubber hull with her sharpened pungi-broomstick was her weakness….ice cold water. Ha, take that mom!

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