Friday, February 5, 2016
IN MEMORY OF MY MOTHER
My mother was very pretty, but she hated to have her picture taken as do I and three of my brothers. I have only three photographs of her. The one shown was taken when she was 21 years old holding my brother Gary. She always laughed when she told me that she was married two years before she became pregnant and she thought she could not have any children; then she had eight children in 21 years! We were loved unconditionally.
Of all of us siblings, Gary looked the most like my mother, with his pretty skin, dark complexion, pretty teeth, black wavy hair and "snapping black eyes" (as my grandmother would say). Oh, damn, I look like my father's sister! When I saw my aunt the last time, I turned to my brother and said, "Please tell me I don't look like her!" He answered, "You better start saving for the face lift!"
My mother--I'm going to phrase this politely--had a "prominent nose". One day when my brother Gary was about 10 years old, he came home from school and said, "Boy, Mom, I thought you had a big nose until I saw Mrs. Greene's!" Mother said, "Well, I'm glad someone's is bigger than mine and Jimmy Durante's!"
My mother always looked young for her age and as my father was eleven years her senior, she was often mistaken as his daughter. When my father and mother came to my eighth grade graduation, one of my fellow students said, "I didn't know you had an older sister." I answered that I didn't. She then asked, "Who was that girl with your dad?" I answered that it was my mother and she asked, "Wow, she's pretty--what happened to you?"
Flash forward--when I was in my twenties--my brother Les and Mother came to pick me up from work, and a gal named Beverly King asked the next day, "Was that your sister in the car?" I said, "No, that's my mother." She asked, "She's pretty, what happened to you?"
I saw Beverly King Duncan recently and I reminded her of that exchange. Bev redeemed herself by saying that my mother would have been proud of me. I hope so.