Mom and Dad, probably taken shortly after my dad returned home from the war in 1945.
I find Mothers day makes me sad these days. There are two reasons why I find Mothers day and all the advertisements and posts on the web a little bit more than I can endure.
One major reason is that I no longer have a mother. My mother passed away in August of 2003 after a two month long fight with bowel, adrenal gland, and brain cancer. She was 81 years old. Considering her age, there’s a good chance that even if she hadn’t got cancer she still might not be here today. My father passed away in December of 2001.
My parents were both very special people. They were older when they had me. My dad was 45 and my mother was 43. My oldest brother was almost 20 and my sister who is the next youngest to me, was almost 10. My parents always called me their special child because I was very unexpected. I like to think that because they had a child when they were a bit older (not so rare. these days but in the mid 60’s it was very uncommon) I kept them young at heart. In fact they both out lived every one of their siblings in their large families.
I’m still discovering things about them, even now, as I go through the old family photo’s and find postcards that my dad sent to my mom during the war, and pictures that my mom sent to my dad to cheer him up. They were very much in love, especially when they were first married.
I don’t believe that they had a long courtship. I’m unsure when they met but I do know that it was at a dance. My mother had turned down another man who had offered to take her to the dance and she went with one of her friends instead. At the dance, my father saw my mother and asked her to dance with him. At first she said no, but she eventually relented and danced with him. That was the start of a romance that would last just short of 60 years.
I think they might have met in June of 1942. They got married August, 7th, 1942 and 7 days later my dad was sent off to war.
Don’t you just love the uniform?
Throughout my fathers stay overseas he sent her postcards, birthday cards, letters and Christmas cards. All declaring his love for her and the hope that when he returned home their life together would begin. I will scan some of these postcards- perhaps for fathers day. They are so sweet. I never knew my dad was so in love with my mother. I mean, I knew they loved each other, but by the time I came along their relationship was more of a comfortable routine. It was only in their last 15 years together or so that I started to see how much they really cared about each other. When I found the postcards my father had sent I was both shocked and overwhelmingly surprised at the love that poured out of him in his letters.
While my dad was away my mother lived with my fathers father, and his sister. She sent my dad some pin-up worthy pictures of herself. Unfortunately I don’t have them all scanned yet, but heres a peek:
The point of my story is that I grew up in a very loving house with parents and siblings that loved me more than anything. Both of my parents had special qualities but I suppose being a girl I was always closer to my mother. I did go through a rebellious stage, but because I had realized how much older my parents were than everyone else parents, and as a result, realized that I might not have them as long as my friends would have theirs, I developed a deep respect, and yes a friendship with each of them.
My mother was my friend. I talked to her everyday, especially after my father died. We supported each other through hard times, and laughed together during the good times. I learned a lot from her, but the most important thing I learned was to be strong and to believe in myself. I miss you mom, but I cherish your memory and all that you gave me.
I’ll tell you the other reason why mothers day makes me feel sad tomorrow in Part II. But I will re-assure anyone who might be worried about me- I’m fine. This holiday doesn’t fill me with joy, but I’m functioning quite well. I just wish I could talk with my mom on such a special day.