To Mother Stand-Ins Everywhere- Happy Mother's Day
I have always been blessed with a marvelous over worked guardian angel . I have also, always been able to find strong females to advise me during periods of crisis or turmoil. These females were teachers, professors, friends, a financial aide adviser (male) , neighbors, my grandmother, aunts, and my friends mothers. . This was written to acknowledge these silent angels that help others each day when they really don't have to. I am not looking for pity and I have never suffered a fool lightly. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger " applies to me quite well.
My Aunt from North Dakota, died on March 30th, a Wednesday; she was 80 years old. She was a delight and even though each letter could have been a carbon copy of the last - I so looked forward to her correspondence.
My mother produced six children, four have mental health issues ( two were debililtated enough to have this illness take over their lives.) She played favorites to two; not the most needy, either. However, she was a negative, controlling individual, who tried at every juncture of my life to make me fail. She was jealous of anyone's success.
My aunt was the Post-Mistress General of the tiny town of Ellendale, North Dakota for over forty years. She owned her own little home even after my uncle died at the age of 56 , from a freak farm accident. She mourned his death for a year and was lonely; but her joy for living returned. She was able to pay all of her expenses at the new apartment. In her final years she would be closer to her only child, her son. She suffered from diabetes and was using oxygen for a few years before she died.
Aunt Hulda was the opposite of my mother. She always looked on the bright side of life. She always gave me an honest but positive assessment of my situation when I asked for her advice. She canned her own sauce, froze some vegetables, and cooked almost every Sunday. All winter long her neighbors would bring in her mail from the road side mail box. In exchange for their kindness, she would embroider flowers and their initials on pillow cases and tea towels.
She was a positive force in my life. She shared my letters with her son, "Hope you don't mind, Jeanna ." because they were so good she said. She encouraged me to write for a living. She felt I was talented.
In Jamestown, the major "town" she lived near, when last I visited in l998 ; the average age was seventy years old. Forty to fifty percent of the shops were for rent. The two main restaurants were Perkin's Pancake House and a "Big Bear" steakhouse opened only on the weekends. A Quizmo and one mom & Pop gas station store and one ice cream shop served the entire area. The next fine restaurant was located over eighty miles away in the next town !!!
In her final years, Aunt Hulda was blessed by one grandson by her only son. She was thrilled and wrote about him, often. In her final letter , she then and only then mentioned he had autism. (The toddler isn't five yet. ) I'm not sure that that diagnosis would hold up down here in the "big city states".
After my mother death, two years ago , my aunt sent me a wonderful card. Once again, she met my emotional need head on. She lived over 3,000 miles away and I met her only twice in my life!
I leave you all with the words from the card. I wish all children, who never received the love they needed from their own mothers, the following words: I hope they bring you some comfort that someone out there, somewhere cares.
crazy about you.
just love you
He doesn't just
sort of special----
of the unverse is
forever- and -ever
in love with You.
--- Holley Gerth
Happy Mother's Day to All!