|carving by my mother, when facing Empty Nest|
There will be plenty to write about Max and finding our way. Today is a capsule summary & tribute to my mom and the changes in her life.
Not So Roaring TwentiesHer earliest childhood was in the '20s, which were not Roaring for her & her family. They lived on a farm in remote western Indiana.
By the time she started school, the Great Depression had begun. That was very much felt in her area, a great shaping of her life.
Her high school class had 12 students. To the end of her days she was sad over/resented the fact that her parents moved at the end of her sophomore year to the huge town with a "big city" high school. There were over 30 students in her graduating class. (Ironically, both schools have been part of the same county-wide consolidated high school since about 1970.)
War and LoveHer first fiance was a year or two older than she. He was drafted into World War II. Shot down over France, his body was never found. This seems to have been about the time of her own graduation.
She attempted nurses training at IU, but couldn't handle it. Later in the year, she moved to Indianapolis and became a secretary, eventually underwriting insurance policies.
After the war, mutual friends introduced her to my dad. On a blind date on Halloweem. Their love was a shock to both of them, as their upbringing had taught them that people belonging to "that" church were not Christians at all. (He told me he had only dated one other woman, for a single date, in his entire life. )
|They would have celebrated 49 years later in the month in which she died.|
Early MarriageThey were DINKS before the world knew the meaning of the word. Their offwork hours were filled with friends, family, roadtrips - and 1950s fertility treatments.
i was their firstborn. i arrived six minutes after midnight, the day after their 9th anniversary.
She always believed both i and my sister were menopause babies. It was a long menopause, if so, lasting until we both were out of high school. And she had all the most extreme symptoms.
LaterWhen, in the 1980s she was first diagnosed with breast cancer, the high hormones she'd been given were blamed - but she was warned not to blame the doctors, because those hormones were state of the art medicine at the time.
She was a fifteen year cancer survivor, and the very best of patients, when it caught up with her.
Mother First and ForemostBut her empty nest was the hardest thing she had to bear. Her desire for children was much more intense than the "Of course every woman is going to be a mother" that was standard in her time. She passionately wanted to be mommy from the time she was 3, so she told me. And her best friend, who first met her when she came to Indianapolis & knew her the rest of her life, told me that my mom was happiest when we two were little.
NEVER had she smiled so much.
And so this carving.