When I was a little girl, my pretty young mother used to go to parent-teacher meetings at my elementary school. To the best of my knowledge, Dad never accompanied her. Those were different times and children were primarily the mother’s responsibility. I know those meetings intimidated her: she had to quit school in her mid-teens so she could leave home and start making her way in the world and – although she later acquired her high school diploma by correspondence courses – her lack of a formal education always embarrassed her. I am sure she would have been grateful for my Dad’s company, but men didn’t ‘do’ those sorts of things back in the 60s and 70s. Continue reading “Things Mom Lost Along the Way”
My Mom has always been one of those pragmatic types who never wasted a lot of time worrying about the deeper meaning of the universe. White is white. Black is Continue reading “The Puzzle Pieces of My Mother’s Mind”
The collection of ‘stuff’ has been an ongoing theme in my life, and it all started with my mother. A baby born at the end of the Great Depression, Mom was a collector of everything. Born into an extremely poor rural French Catholic family, she had to leave home at age 15 to get a job and to make a way for herself in the world. Education was (and is) a luxury that the poor could simply not afford. Continue reading “The Unbearable Heaviness of ‘Stuff’”
In my life, I have been a volunteer on a great number of occasions. Volunteering is either something you ‘get’ or you do not. Continue reading “Remembering to Thank the Volunteers”
When my kids were little, I used to have to label all the clothing they wore to daycare. Continue reading “Clothing Labels and Parenthood”
“Mom, did you go down those stairs?” my sister demands one day, as she notices some object that Mom could only have found in the basement.
“I was very careful!” my mother protests. “I held the railing the whole way down and I took it one step at a time.”
“What if you had taken a fall, Mom? I suppose you did this after the caregiver left?” My sister is upset and exasperated. Continue reading “Good Cop, Bad Cop”