Friday, March 05, 2021 (16 days before the First Day of Spring)
Today is my mother’s birthday. Throughout my childhood, March 5 was one of a year’s important days. Mom has been gone now many years, but she was influential and mysterious, personal characteristics still living in my heart.
It’s almost impossible to understand enough about our parents because times constantly change. My mom grew up in a social period when most women had to depend on support by men, and when men hoped to seek out and offer support to women of beauty. My mom was a beautiful woman, confident as to her impact. In old pictures, she’s wearing designer clothing, open-toed shoes, with hair arrangements resembling those of the most popular movie stars. In her generation, women and men found movies a huge source of entertainment, along with vinyl recordings and radio.
My father died while young in a highway accident. That forced mom out of a primary role as homemaker and mother. She knew next to nothing about managing money and functioning independently. There were years of trials and tribulations, but with some help, she wound up owning popular beer bars in two army towns. She was a pretty woman tending bar, and young soldiers crowding the places made her affluent.
Lives change over time, and ultimately, sometimes mom had more money than other times. In periods forcing her to struggle, she did her fighting and decision-making mostly internally. As a result, her choices could be difficult to understand. To me she always seemed a mystery, and I loved her dearly.
My life’s trials and tribulations have taught how little stays the same. I’ve had to rethink situations, alter views, change approaches, and try hard to adapt to whatever life offers at any given moments. Now, I’m less confused about mom, for I know what it means and feels like, having to reprocess oneself on the spur of a moment, or with a little luck, over a stretch of time.
I remember being six or seven years old and asking mom for money, to go to the drugstore (in those days a safe walk for kids) and buy her a gift. A dollar or two had me taking home to her a big jar of Woodbury Face Cream. Always, she was kind and appreciative.
It’s again her birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom!
Dear Friends: Understanding others is a whole-life journey, we first must learn how to see. Diana