Remembering Mom

Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there.

Of course I'm a mom too, but I want to talk about my own mom. She left this world to begin her new life in Heaven at the age of 97.

Things were different back when I was a kid. Mom had to work really hard every day. She did have an automatic washing machine for as far back as I can remember (Dad loved to get her anything new like that.) But she had to hang clothes on the line, bring them in when dry, fold and put them away.

Grocery shopping wasn't all that easy either. The first big store was in Glendale and started out in a big tent. As I remember it was Ralph's. It wasn't all that far, but we did have to drive to get there. Mom did all the shopping, the cooking, the cleaning and the paying of bills. With the exception of mowing the lawn, mom took care of all the gardening too.

It was a different time--and my sister and I had free run of the neighborhood. The only rule was we needed to get back home before our dad came home at 5 p.m. When she went to the school for PTA meetings or school programs, she always dressed up as did all the other mothers. Sometimes this included a hat.

She made sure we looked presentable for school, packed our lunches and was always home when we got there. We went to Sunday School and church every Sunday and when we were teens, to the night youth group. We always had a wonderful dinner after church and usually visited family after we ate. (I don't remember helping with the cooking or clean-up, though I know I did do dishes on weeknights.)

I got sick when I was in the sixth grade. Rheumatic fever. In those days, the doctors felt that anyone with this disease should not get out of bed at all. This meant a bed pan and meals in bed. Poor mom, she never wanted to be a nurse, but she took care of me valiantly for the whole six week recuperation period.

Mom was an avid reader. She subscribed to three L.A. newspapers--and one was like the Enquirer, filled with Hollywood gossip. She also subscribed to the Book of the Month Club and she took us to the library where I got my limit of 10 books a week. (Not sure, but I think that was mainly in the summer time.)
Both of us read Gone with the Wind over and over--and went to the movie several times.)

We went to the movies every Friday night no matter what was playing and stayed for both features.

The only time she really got a break was when we went camping for three weeks. Then my dad did the cooking. Weird food. He always put everything in one big frying pan--not always a success, but we had to eat it anyway. 

If mom had a failing it was not wanting us to try anything new because she didn't want us to be hurt. (Fortunately, that didn't keep my sis or me from doing whatever we wanted anyway.)

When I wanted to get married to the sailor I hardly knew who lived across the country, she went with me on the train so I could have my wedding. (It worked out, we've been married forever.)

Once the babies started coming, mom was delighted. There was nothing she loved more than being a grandmother. She loved to visit and for us to come visit her.

My mom nearly always had a smile on her face. She was great to talk with and I miss that.

Happy Mother's Day



I must add, she insisted we all go go Sunday School and church every Sunday. It's a habit and also a blessing that's stayed with me through the years.
What a lovely story, Marilyn! What a wonderful Mom you had! Interesting how it was safe for us to roam free as children. What has changed, or were there unknown dangers then?

All the best,
Mary Montague Sikes

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