The Rare Pearl

For many centuries pearls have been highly valued as objects of beauty. The word pearl has become a metaphor for something very rare, very fine, very admirable, and very valuable. This is the description that I give to my mother; she is a rare pearl indeed.

She drives my siblings and I crazy and always has, she is impossible at times and a hypochondriac that we have all humored for many years, oftentimes sitting with her for hours at a time indulging her imaginary illness’s. But we do it because she is our mother, we sincerely care for her well being and although she didn’t give us many material things throughout our lives, she has given us love and made us the people who we are as adults. As crazy as she drives us sometimes, we love her, I love her very much.

My mother was born on March 6, 1934 in Mexico in a small ranch way out in the sticks. Her father was a butcher by trade and her mother died when she was a toddler. Her father married this witch of a woman who would be my mother’s caregiver; I call her this because she was never by any stretch of the imagination a real mother to her. My step grand caregiver was a very cold, distant woman who I think her face would break if she ever actually cracked a smile. And I remember visiting her when I was a child and being scared to death of her. She and my grandfather had several children together and although my mother came first, she was treated like a step child by everyone.

She was regularly beaten by everyone in the family and was made to do all the chores. Her step mother would often tell my grandfather all these lies about my mother when he got home from work so she could get into trouble. My grandfather beat her so severely once that she couldn’t get out of bed for days. I think of my mother as a little girl and wonder what got her through those years. I cry to think of her as that little girl without her mommy.

When my mother married my father she was 20 years old and he had already been married a couple times, I am sure that he swept her off her feet and she was more than happy to be leaving her so called home. This is how she ended up coming to the United States and became a U.S. citizen. Her father died years ago, but ironically her stepmother is still alive and is in her 90’s. My mother still calls her and sends her letters and cards for her birthdays and holidays and has always been good to her, regardless of how she treated my mother. This is where that rare pearl comes in.

My father died in 1992 leaving my mother on her own, she was always a homemaker and never held a job as she was never educated in anyway, except for maybe a couple years of grade school. She lives alone despite my siblings and my protests. She always says she doesn’t want to be a burden on anyone but doesn’t realize it would make us feel better that she not be alone.

I don’t know if it was my mother’s upbringing or hereditary or what, but she has had a lot of emotional and nervous conditions, which she is on medications for. My mother has always been a very religious person as well and I think that is what gets her through. When we were teenagers she had this idea that everything that was fun was a sin. I guess all those times going to her church with all that fire and brimstone, turned me off for many years to religion and church. For many years I resented my mother for being like this, now I just understand.

After many years of living away from my mother, doing my own things, getting married, having children, I have come back to my hometown, mainly to spend more time with my mother and to try to make up for lost time, if that is ever possible. I spend as much time with my mother as I can and there are times when yes I don’t feel like being around her because of her complaints, her neediness, and I ask God to forgive me for feeling like this. But I try to spend time with her, talk to her, sometimes we go out to lunch and sometimes we just go out for a walk.

One day not too long ago I took her to the grocery store to get a few things and watched her as she collected some strawberries and put them in a produce bag and I noticed her hands, I always thought that my mother had beautiful hands and she still does, even at the age of 75. I was looking at her hands and remembering how they comforted me many times as a child and how warm they always felt to the touch. I thought with all of her faults and emotional crippling, how she raised a family, a large one at that; without yes the traditional education but also without the maternal education that was never shown to her. I applaud her for this and understand how hard it is at times to be a good mother.

I don’t know how much longer my mother will be with us, she will probably out live us all, but my sister and I have had this conversation and we both wonder what the heck we would actually do without my mother calling us everyday wondering why we haven’t called her, and how much we would miss that. My sister stated that when my mother passes she would never drive down her street again because it would cause her too much pain. I know what she means because it is hard to wonder what life would be like without this rare pearl in our lives, I know that it certainly would be a little colder.

My mother once told me
"Being a mother was hard to do"
but she didnt tell me why
maybe she thought it would scare me
so she kept it to herself
Should I have thanked her for that
So she let me make mistakes
I take back everything I've said

By Ladyjane1

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Comments 22 comments

Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

What a beautiful tribute to your mother. A captivating story. A rare pearl, indeed. May the time the two of you spend together be blessed by grace & flooded by good memories. Peace & encouragement to you.


tim-tim profile image

tim-tim 6 years ago from Normal, Illinois

Amazing story! Indeed, she is a rare pearl! Love the way you write! It was beautiful. Look forward to read some more and learn from you:)Thanks for sharing.


hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 6 years ago from Italy

Wonderful hub ladyjane, really wonderful. I've been so lucky to have a pearl too as a mother, so I know pretty well what you mean. And share your feeling when I think she'll be no more here. Rated up and stumbled too. :)


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you Ken I appreciate you taking the time to read my hub. Yes my mother is a very rare person indeed and I am just sorry that it took me so long to really appreciate her. Thanks again. Peace be with you as well.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you tim-tim for your encouragement and for the fan mail. I appreciate that you like my writing, it is definitlely a work in progress. Thanks for stopping by.

@Hypnodude, hey it is always a pleasure to see you. Hope you are well and thank you for your kind words about my hub. I am so glad that you also have a rare pearl in your life enjoy her while you can today for tomorrow is never promised to us. Thanks again.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

Wonderful tribute to your Mother. She would be so proud to see this. Thanks for sharing. I am especially close to my Mother.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you Tammy I am glad you enjoyed it. My mother is a complicated woman and we have had our ups and downs but we are getting closer. Thanks for stopping by.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA

My mom was a bit older than your mom when her mother passed away, but she had a few similar experiences. At the age of ten my mom began taking care of her entire household when her mom fell ill, and died of cancer a few years later. My grandpa remarried when my mom was in high school, and their step-mom was literally a witch. She only allowed them to take a bath once a week, so they would wait until she went out on errands just so they could wash up. She used to make them slave over the house and the yard like servants, and she sat around and did almost nothing. She called them horrible names, and made them feel very bad.

Years later they finally told their dad how they really felt about her, and he was surprised. At the time he thought he was doing a good thing for his kids by giving them a "new mom," but then he learned she was not very motherly at all to them. He actually took many of her pictures out of the albums when he found out how they were not allowed to keep pictures of their mom up around the house. It may sound like my grandpa was out of the loop, but he was working long hours when many of these things went on, and he did not know until years later.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

SweetiePie thanks for stopping by and you are correct my grandpa was kind of out of the loop as well except that he beleived everything that his new wife told him about my mother so that is the reason he always came down hard on her. It must have been hard for your family as well as mine. Thanks so much for commenting.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA

Ladyjane,

I think it was hard for my mom, but she was stronger than I ever could be. She says that she just had to grow up quick, and she seems okay with it. I never met my step grandma because she passed away before I was born, and my grandpa had a new girlfriend by the time I was old enough to start understanding things. They eventually married, but I always considered her my grandpa's wife and not my grandma. Your mom is a strong woman and you can be proud of her :).


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you SweetiePie, and yes my mother is a strong woman and she has gone through a lot in her life. She drives me crazy lol but nonetheless she is strong and I can only hope to be as graceful as her when I am 75. Thanks for your comments. I appreciate it.


Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 6 years ago from Texas, USA

Wonderful tribute a strong lady; Thanks for sharing this personal story


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

You are welcome Coolmon and thanks for taking the time to read my hub. Apreciate it.


MFB III profile image

MFB III 6 years ago from United States

Nothing like a Mom...if you put the word Mom upside down you simply get...WOW!! I believe there are a lot of people in this world hiding in their shell, cowering from all the abrasion they face daily, and if one takes the time to draw them out they will find a radiant pearl...in that person with just a wee bit of love and care. Superb tribute.

~~~MFB III


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you MFB III I appreciate your feedback always. And you are right there is nothing like a loving, caring, beautiful mom. Thanks for reading.


rosemary10 6 years ago

This was great sounds just like my mother. I really love your hubs you have a talent. God bless


Rosemary 6 years ago

You have a new fan look forward to mmoe keep up the good work.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks to the two Rosemarys I appreciate your comments and thank you for reading, she really is something isn't she?


rosemary10 6 years ago

theirs only one Rosemary


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

YOu are so right there Rosemary.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America

Delightful, and interesting that you have matured so to deeply care for her! Thank you for a lovely pearl piece...


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

This makes me think of my own mother. She, too, suffered a lot and now has emotional disorders because of it. It's a good reminder of what a pearl my mothers is, and what a hole it would leave in my life if she disappeared from it.

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