My Mother Manages Life

My Mother’s life was tough, and hard, and has been very long. As a young child she was raised in a fair to middling economic status, and had aspirations to be a singing star.  Her life spiraled away from that dream pretty quickly.  At about the age of 14 she moved in with her oldest sister, and there she learned the hard way about what a relationship with a man was all about.  I do not know details of that learning experience; I have just pieced together that knowledge for stories from my aunts, which I heard over the years. Later, at the age of 16 she married my father, a man 10 years her senior.  He went away in the service during World War II and left her young, alone, and pretty lost in a town she did not know, with a mother in law that just did not show her much love.  Her dreams of being a singing star still existed, but they were tempered by the reality of her life…imagine; being 16 and alone and lost…My father returned from his service and took her and her then unborn daughter to a farm in the backwoods of Iowa, no electricity, no running water, and she coped, she managed.  Her first child was followed by 4 others, and she managed, she coped, and she loved her children in her best way.

When I was 7, her life was starting an upturn, her house had electricity, running water, and her husband had become economically stable.  And then, in a strange accident, he fell from a light pole, hit his head on a concrete slab and died.

So again, Mother’s life took a sad turn.  She floundered for a bit, dated a few guys, and then married Ed, when I was 12.  Ed was steady and around, and industrious.  He did love Mother.  With Ed, my Mother adopted the first two of my youngest brother and sisters. She loved them.

Ed died of a brain aneurysm, by then I had left home and started my own somewhat dubious life of the time.  Mom was alone with 2 kids, and she raised them in her best way.

And then she met Chuck, (I am pretty sure we all share the same opinion of Chuck), but in the midst of all of his con artist ways, he did assist Mother in adopting our youngest sister.  So every thing has a blessing.  Chuck she divorced after a number of years, after finally believing that he was not an honest man.  He left her poor, farm sold, money gone.

And she raised her youngest daughter in her best way.

Finally came Bernie, and he was sweet. And he loved her, but shortly after the marriage, he became ill with emphysema and after some years of living with an oxygen tank, he passed away as well.

Mom is now 86, and has survived many very critical strokes; she lives with my oldest brother and his wife.  They take marvelous care of her, and I think that although she may be fairly bored these days, (she is frustrated because her thoughts do not translate into clear words) She is content, and living a peaceful life.

My relationship with my Mom is unclear.  I left home at 17, full of angst, and got into the habit of never communicating.  But she is a good woman, with a history that spans nearly a century, and more living in her than can be known, and I love her in my way, and hopefully I can someday call it my best way.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mitchypoo
    Feb 14, 2011 @ 20:42:18

    I love your honesty and your Mother’s story is very sad in many ways but intriguing. How brave you are to speak your truth.


  2. mitchypoo
    Feb 14, 2011 @ 20:44:46

    oops, i had the wrong web address in there, this is the right one.


  3. Beth Pederson
    Feb 19, 2011 @ 19:36:57

    Loved meeting you at Rockford Road. Oh my gosh … just took a look at your personal blog and I love your story of you mother. It seems to be a beautiful expression of who she was and what she has gone through and you as well. I once heard that we are “products of our past but not victims”. It seems your mom was able to rise above difficult circumstances. At 86 years I hope you are able to give her clear words of how you love her for her strength even if her words are not clear!


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