Short Story about a displaced homemaker/ a story about my mother
"Displaced" homemaker of 70's and their daughters
Displaced By girlpower Copyright 2010
It wasn’t until 1991 when I was sitting in a coffee shop with my mother that I first realized that she had freckles. It was the first time that I really and truly looked at my mother. She had forgotten to put on her make up and had somehow gotten some sun on her face; which brought out her freckles. The window was behind me, she sitting opposite me her eyes reflected back the August sunlight. She looked younger, more carefree, it made me happy to see her quiet and still, the worry lines tanned over.
She was talking from inside herself how she didn’t like being poor, that she hadn’t asked to fall down on the ice in Wisconsin which led to her eventually moving out to Oregon. She talked freely, her loose rings shifting on saggy thin hands. She talked about my father. How she misses him. How they missed the chance to grow old together, to have someone to share things at the end of the day.
We talked about the times I was a child when I wore those mini-skirts and giggled all the time, how I used to spit pistachios shells along the road leaving a tiny trail back home. How I brought her a lovely bouquet of flowers from the cemetery I walked through each day after school. She talked about not being able to retire, that she didn’t think much of the future. That somedays she wishes she could die in her sleep.
I couldn’t understand her perspective. I was too young, too full of spirit. I could hear both our hearts come together, from woman to woman. My mother suddenly looked tired, her eyes shifted from side to side. She was gazing out into the world outside the coffee shop. I knew it was in those moments that she really wanted to go on and talk about her anxiety, depression, but she knew I was on vacation. A vacation from myself and the responsibilities of taking care of other people.
I was the type of person you can usually open up to. I was her daughter but today was the first time I really saw her face. I reached across the space between us and touched her shoulder and gave her a hug in the car.
She was going to ride the bus around in a big circle for something to do. Today I touched her back and told her what she always needs to hear, everything will work out ma.
I love you too, honey.