My mother was a beautiful woman,
Eyes of blue,
With very light skin.
She was married once before she met my father,
To a man who was abusive, a drunk,
Which did not last long at all.
She was a person of strength
Who soon kicked her first husband to the curb,
I think he hit her once, that was it, she was gone,
Good for her.
She often told me that no one could hurt her feelings,
This alerted me to the fact that she was very sensitive,
So she found ways to protect herself,
Perhaps this was good, I have no way of knowing.
She was not overly emotional,
I never saw her cry
Not sure I could have taken it if I did.
However she was caring and accepting of everyone.
Our home was often full of guests of all kinds,
They were comfortable there,
Both adults and children.
She also found an orphanage that was in neglect,
That was soon taken care of, at least for awhile,
Getting many involved in taking care of the needs of the children.
My mom was from the country,
Her family not rich,
Yet as she told me, she never went without,
Never knew she was poor.
She worked in Parkmore,
A chain of restaurants in St Louis in the 40’s,
That is were my Dad first saw her,
And began to show interest.
Mom did not want much to do with him,
He was from a well to do family until the depression,
So he grew up in plenty,
Had a reputation as a ladies man,
At least from the often funny stories I heard from his family,
So he needed some help in getting my mom’s attention.
A friend of the family (another story)
Spoke up for my dad,
And as my mother told me,
“Mark, all your dad had to do was look at me
And bam I was pregnant”;
She always laughed when she told me that.
She did have after all 11 children,
All survived except one who died soon after birth.
Whom I seem to miss more and more as time goes on,
I don’t really understand that, since I never held or saw him.
While dad was a strong man,
Like most large families it was a matriarchy,
She called the shots for the most part,
Dad was always working anyway.
We were a handful,
Which only got bigger as the years went by,
Until 1961 when the last one was born into the world.
She was a home body for the most part,
Loved to read, think, and discuss the beliefs of others.
She often challenged me in my faith,
So I used to go to the library to study,
Which deepened my understanding of my beliefs.
Like my dad, she was of a liberal bent,
I am sort of that way myself.
She did struggle with depression,
Liked to wear black,
Grey her favorite color,
Perhaps mine also.
She loved the night, a time of reading, and contemplation.
A woman of great depth who could not express herself well,
She had the picture but could not break it down,
Which caused me a great deal of frustration,
Communication often difficult in my late teens and early adulthood.
She seemed trapped in her world,
Unable to communicate on a verbal level,
My fear was I was like her in my inner perceptions,
Which is true,
So I did not want to be trapped like that,
She had so much to share, and did,
However her limitations were severe.
She so wanted me to believe the way she did,
I fought her,
Struggled to be myself,
At times said angry things to put up boundaries.
I hated this,
An adult still being a child with my mother whom I loved,
In 82 when she was 62 she told me that she had a year to live,
Emphysema taking its toll,
She knew she could not quit,
Therefore had the year to work on our relationship,
I did not want any regrets about how I treated her.
So I just listened,
Grateful for all that she communicated to me.
Her wisdom was deep, her faith strong.
So for the next year I did not argue,
Just listened to her on the phone,
I called her once or twice a week.
We laughed and still disagreed,
Looming death changes things for sure,
But as time went on the old wounds healed.
When the day came that changed the texture of the world,
I received the news in a state of numbness,
Though not extreme, since I mourned much the year before.
We all got together that very day,
All 10 of us, scattered across the country.
Others driving, but we all made it.
The youngest having dad wrapped around her finger
Took care of him,
The rest of the time we simply got together,
Laughed, talked, and felt at a loss.
The matriarch has died.
My mom had a hard life,
However she told me that she would do it all over again,
Such was her love for her children,
Each precious to her, though she at times had trouble expressing it,
I think she was better with the boys than with the girls,
Perhaps that is normal.
In any case she did the best she could,
Now she is at rest,
She never feared death,
Nor the thoughts of others,
Which seems to be a sort of death for some.
One of her favorite sayings,
When my dad would worry about the neighbors,
“ O for petessake who gives a **** what the neighbors think”…..
I liked that mom,
Thanks for teaching me that lesson.
I don’t know how my brothers and sisters experienced you,
Each has a story,
But you, like dad, were loved and cherished.
So at 63 you left us bereft,
Yet we still had Dad,
Now that he is gone we have each other,
Hopefully as the years fly by we will deepen our love for one another,
Not taking each other for granted,
That as one by one we also pass on,
Regrets will not be severe,
Not letting the things of life,
The hurts and misunderstandings get in the way of what is important,
That in spite of it all, we do love one another.
Edited by markdohle, 25 January 2013 - 11:12 PM.