Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

My mother had many fine qualities. As a matter of fact I have often said that the fun, life, silliness and spirit of adventure have come from my mother. We lived in Central Philadelphia. She was a secretary with the Bell company. She had four little girls by the time she was 23 years old. We are all just about 12 1/2 months apart. My father left her with four little girls when the youngest was a newborn. Yet with so much adversity in her life she was a good mother. She loved to dress us up. She loved to get on the train and take us into New York City for all the parades. She loved having people over and we had many dinner parties. She loved us girls and included us in every part of her life. My memory holds that of long walks, the Jersey Shore, much love, many walks in the park and many trips into the city. Here is a picture of all of us girls on a walk in the park. She even dressed us up for walks in the park. We are all standing in birth order. Me being the third. I love that we are all wearing hats. It must have been a Sunday. We always wore hats on Sunday.

This is my mother at about 27 years old. I know life was not easy for her, but she made it work. She hired Miss Elizabeth. A nanny to care for us girls while she took a train into work every day. I have always known where I got my city girl from.

The sad thing is life was not good to her. One wrong decision changed her spirit and her life. She married a man five years younger, whom she met in a bar. She became mentally ill around 30 years. That life went from her eyes, a second husband who was abusive and seemingly destroyed her spirit all together.

I have wonderful memories of my mother before she remarried. I did not ever lose that part of my mother. Even as a young girl, with the curtains drawn dark for weeks, and her inability to get out of bed I always knew that she was a person with good intentions. My step dad did not allow her any money to spend on us girls. We were not his, and he did not feel responsible. So we went without the regular things that kids have. Yet in a bold move, she once took all of us girls on a shopping spree and later she paid dearly for the triumph in clothing her girls was no victory for her heart and head later on. Remember this was a mommy who loved dressing her girls, and now they/us had nothing better than rags handed down from those who felt sorry.

I have been taking a trip down memory lane. I have mentioned this a few times now. Reflecting on my past and realizing the special touches of life that preserve our spirits. I do believe it's God's way of caring for our hearts in a heartless world.

I spent the better part of the last 30 years not knowing this woman. I was put into the state's care as a very young teenager. Pictures tell a different story of my earlier childhood. Janice Ellen (I was to name my next little girl Ellen, but well three boys later that did not happen) died 2006. Life wore her down. She did not know how to fight or care for her family. She was bi-polar and had mental issues that the doctors did not know how to treat. And yet, even as I reflect on many painful years of growing up I know she tired her best. Before she became ill she exposed us to so much. She was never judgemental of others but shared a love and life that people were drawn to. It's truly those earlier years in my life, that she  did her best to make the best. I know I adopted that part of me from her. I have always been one to try to make the best no matter how terrible the situation. It's been said that is a fault of mine. I beg to differ.

Thanks Lord Jesus, for starting my life with a mother who knew how to show love. Who's spirit was one that I would want to be like. For those of you who know me my spirit of adventure, my silliness, my strong opinions...yep they came from a mother who allowed those opinions and encouraged the rest. May your soul rest in a place more beautiful than I can know right now. I know you have met our Savior and there we will get to start over. Happy Mother's Day.


  1. Wow, girl. I wish I could meet you in person! I love you. I admire you.

    I can't wait to read the rest of your story.

  2. Thank you for sharing this E. It is sweet and beautiful.

  3. What a special gift to give your Mother on Mothers honor her and the love and strength that she gave you even tho the outcome drastically changed. I know that your childhood has so much joy and heartbreak all wrapped into one. But what you've done with your life and your children is amazing. I know your mother would be so very proud of you.l!! Happy Mothers Day and thank you for sharing your story. Love you xo

  4. Its good to know that even a short time with your mother can leave an everlasting imprint on ones heart. I was lucky I had a mother and a mom. Peace be with you and all of the mothers out there.


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