May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

Madge, coming off the ship on a golf cruise, 1972. Golf shoes in hand, she usually carried her own clubs too.

Mother’s day was invented by Anna Jarvis in 1908.  As the years passed and she saw how commercial the holiday became, she tried to get it rescinded.  The day is still with us and still an intregal part of American family life.

Not mine.  My mother, tho she looks kind, wasn’t a nice lady at all.  She was a woman architectural engineer in the 1930s at a time when they weren’t openly accepted.  Her second husband was an alcoholic as was her third.  Her only child, me, was an alcoholic and addict with severe learning disabilities.  She used a bread-board as discipline.  This wasn’t a “Leave it to Beaver” situation.

She fought colon cancer, breast cancer, thyroid cancer, a difficult daughter, and a drunk husband by inventing a printing business in her basement.  She became an alcoholic herself, and ate herself into roundness.  Her father bought a big house on five acres probably just to give her a home during these difficult years.  Once her husband, father, and mother in law died, she went on a diet, got a new wardrobe, and sold the house.  She moved to an apartment on Shelter Island her in San Diego and began to cruise the world. 

She met her third husband at a bar on the island, and they began cruising the west coast in his yacht until she grew too old and fragile to be battered by the storms.  When she died, he kept her boxed, cremated remains on her chair for a year or so.  One day the box vanished.

  • Himself:  Spoils me rotten all the time.

  • Herself:  Writing a little about my mother, talking or writing to my kids, tidying up my messes, and going to a business meeting later.

  • Reading:  Cadell.  Light funny 1950’s stuff.

  • Balance:  The quiet.

    1. Life is so complicated and not at all like Mother's Day.

    2. My Mom is buried in NC and I know exactly where because my brother and I made all the arrangements. My Dad was out of it and broke, so I had to chip in as did Mike. After she died the family fell apart.

      i got a sweet card from my sister for Mom's Day. I was an older sister, and although I think I was bossy (controlling bitch), she thinks of me as Mom. How dysfunctional we all are. Good to let the past go I think.

    3. We all have our stories. Bless you for coming out a winner.

    4. Pretty tough bunch you were and are!

    5. Not the usual memory, but a truthful one.

    6. Great story. Great for Mother's Day. Not my favorite holiday and one I try to avoid. Sort of like my birthday.

    7. I was surprised that Canada celebrates Mother's Day at the same time.

      Wow! What an incredible life your mom had. A bread board??? Yikes! It sounds like a book.


    What a delight to get a note from you. Thanks for leaving one.


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