Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

Just when you think you have seen all of the photos in your collection, another, unremembered one pops up. This is my Mom in 1969, at age 40.

The date on the photo says October, but the picture was taken in July of that year for her birthday. I know that this picture was taken in the summer due to the fact that my Mom would never wear white after Labor Day. It just wasn't done! At least not in New York. Memorial Day to Labor Day was the accepted time to wear white, for men and women alike. Back then, and this will come as a surprise to many younger people, you had to wait to finish taking the whole roll of film before you got to see the pictures. And it was always a surprise to see the photos you had taken months before.

My Mom was a very sweet person, and in spite of some rough years we had when I was a teenager, I always enjoyed her ability to take me back to her childhood with stories about the Depression and World War Two. She gave me so much in the way of love for literature, movies and poetry. She would be pleased with my blog, and that thought pleases me in return. That she would have had a blog of her own is without question, as she wrote short stories towards the end of her too short life. It amazes me to realize that I am now older than she was when she passed away, just a few days after her 55th birthday in 1984. Her death was in many ways the beginning of my life, which had been overshadowed by her illnesses for 25 years, starting when I was about 5 years old. We discusssed this very thing only a few weeks before she passed away.

I understand her so much more today than even 2 years ago. Saddled now with my own infirmities, I appreciate her wit, and charm, more than I ever have before. She was in great pain for so long, but if there was somewhere to go, or someone to meet, she swallowed that pain, put on her makeup and necklaces, broke out her smile, and went.

When I was 8 years old she gave me a book of poetry, which I still have, and have even reviewed here before. It still gives me pleasure to leaf through those 85 childhood poems. So, Happy Birthday Mom. Here's one of the poems you gave me so long ago;

"The Little Turtle" by Vachel Lindsay

There was a little turtle.
He lived in a box.
He swam in a puddle.
He climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea.
He even caught the minnow.
But he didn't catch me!

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