Happy Mother’s Day to My Mom in Heaven

This is the last picture that I have of my Mom before she succumbed to cancer over 16 years and there are days I miss her more now than right after she passed.

I know she is in Heaven and her worldly troubles are over, but I wish I had made more time to spend with her and really get to know her a person and not just my Mom.

If I had it to do over, I would have taken FMLA and been with her during her final months instead of advancing my career above being an Executive Assistant at a national bank or hanging on to a failing relationship with my then fiancée.   Within two years had quit both.   I decided I would not make the same mistake again and made my own child my priority.   It is ironic that my son looks down on me and says he would never accept working a job at a call center for $10 an hour as I took that job because it was 3rd shift and I put in 40 hour weeks between 7 pm Friday to 11 pm on Monday and gave up my social life so I could be there for him during the week if he had an asthma attack.

Still, that was nothing like what my Mom and my Grandmother endured for years working swing shift at Corning inspecting heavy glass television screens.   They would have to take the screen off the line hold it up to the light and flip it around and quickly look for bubble or imperfections and complete it before the next piece came up for inspection.   The work schedule was work first shift then off a day, work second shift the off a day, work 3rd shift then off five days.  That type of schedule is inhumane as there is no way for your body clock to ever be set.   She would sometimes come home after going to the ER after getting cut on broken glass and when she worked at the “hot” end where the glass with melted come home burned on her arms.

I probably had treated her like my son now treats me as I do recall asking her why she hadn’t tried to do more with her life as she was smart.  She was also artistic.  She could crochet amazing creations, but I found out after she passed she had like to draw and paint when she was younger and was good at it.  The only thing I ever saw her paint was in the last 60’s two big eyed ballerina paint by numbers from a kit that was popular at the time and she did a great job and they looked better than the box, but I never cared for that style and it had drab olive and muted pinks.  I don’t know whatever became of them.

She was an avid reader and sometimes would hole up in her bedroom and read a book in a day.  She had said she saw how hard it had been on her family when her older sister went off to college and didn’t want to be even more of a burden on her parents and her siblings as they would have had to have done without.   She got a job and said she used to buy presents for them instead and she liked that better.  I found in her yearbook after she died paperwork that she had had a full ride scholarship to Ball State.

I think part of it too, which I found out later from my Grandmother, was she had a bit of a wild streak in her, at least for the period of time she grew up in.  One day while in high school Grandma said she had skipped school with gal pals and they had a fender bender and the cops called the parents of all of the girls.  She married her first husband when she was only 19 had he had a mohawk haircut, which no one would think much about these days, but this was 1952 and was considered shocking in the more cookie-cutter world.  She was married for seven years and the story I remember the most about him was she said he came home drunk after Christmas and complained about the Christmas tree being up and started dragging it out, lights, ornaments and all to the trash barrel.   She followed him out and said she punched him so hard it knocked him out cold.  She said it had stunned her as she had never had done anything like that before.  She left him outside while she dealt with the tree.

She married her first husband when she was only 19 had he had a mohawk haircut, which no one would think much about these days, but this was 1952 and was considered shocking in the more cookie-cutter world.  She was married for seven years and the story and suffered a miscarriage during some time during the relationship and it would have been a girl.   I remember the most about him was she said he came home drunk after Christmas and complained about the Christmas tree being up and started dragging it out, lights, ornaments and all to the trash barrel.   She followed him out and said she punched him so hard it knocked him out cold.  She said it had stunned her as she had never had done anything like that before.  She left him outside while she dealt with the tree.  I don’t think they were married much longer after that.

I story that I best remember that she told about him was drunk after Christmas and complained about the Christmas tree being up and started dragging it out, lights, ornaments and all to the trash barrel.   She followed him out and said she punched him so hard it knocked him out cold.   She said it had stunned her as she had never had done anything like that before.  She left him outside while she dealt with the tree.  I don’t think they were married much longer after that.

After that ended, despite not knowing anyone in Florida, she decided she wanted to move down there.   She worked in a restaurant in Tampa and said she received tips in currencies from all over the world and used to have coins she had kept from that time in her jewelry box.

It was down there that she met my Dad and they married shortly thereafter.   They were married in April and I was born the following January, so thing went a little too fast for them I think.  Before I was born they moved back to Warren, but my Grandma said my Dad he seemed to be out of sorts in a small town so he drank and gambled.

They divorced when I was 2 1/2 and she was left to raise toddler and infant with no driver’s license, car, shower, bathtub or hot water with very few jobs in town.   She had to apply for public assistance and for several years she was a babysitter during the day and did ironings (there was no dry cleaner in town) and commissioned crochet work to try to make ends meet.   She also kept a garden full of fresh vegetables and seemed to forever be pulling weeds.   The foundation under the kitchen was crumbling and the floor actually slanted.  For baths, she would have to boil pots of water on the stove and fill up a washtub in the middle of the slanted kitchen.

The foundation under the kitchen was crumbling and the floor actually slanted.  For baths, she would have to boil pots of water on the stove and fill up a washtub in the middle of the slanted kitchen.  She had grown up during the depression and they had not had the luxury of running hot water either and told us to be thankful; at least we had an indoor toilet.

I am sorry for any anguish that I caused her and hope she is at peace in Heaven because she is missed here on Earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Happy Mother’s Day to My Mom in Heaven

  1. Your tribute left a lump in my throat. And I love her picture – she looks like “this is me!” How different her life – and perhaps your own – would have been if she would have taken that scholarship – full-ride! ….. Again, ty!

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  2. of all the complaining kids do today these little bastards have no idea what a rough life is. carrying water every day from the stream or heating water to wash yourself in a barrel or tub. Not to mention those cold midnight nature calls. Indoor plumbing has only developed nationwide within the last 100 years.

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