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Today would have been my Mother's 90th Birthday.

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MarianJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:54 AM
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Today would have been my Mother's 90th Birthday.
During WWII she was a "Marie the Meat Packer". She had my sister while my father was overseas. After the war she kept working while my father went to college on the GI Bill. They were ably to buy their first house for about $2,300 in cash since my father won about $11,000 playing poker, blackjack & gin rummy while he was overseas.

I came along in 1955 and my mom kept a good home for us. In 1962 my serial-adulterer bastard of a father took off, got a quickie divorce in Alabama and got remarried before my mother knew she was divorced. My mother went to work, kept our family together and we had a happy and safe home where we never really knew how broke we were. Remember, in the 60s, a "deadbeat dad" was an "up and coming executive".

She taught us the value of a buck and how to appreciate family and friends. She taught us gratitude so that to this day my sister and I appreciate it as much when someone gives us a candy bar as when they give us an expensive gift.

My mother, who wasn't a conservative but was slightly to the right of center politically, taught us at a very young age to never trust a corporation. She always said that they expected you to be loyal to them but they didn't have to be loyal to you. How right, and ahead of the curve, she was.

She was raised to believe that people of different races shouldn't mix, but eventually grew to love and respect her Puerto Rican daughter in law. Our son, a beautiful African American boy we adopted as an infant in 2000, was THE ONE PERSON that she loved more than any other in her life. Almost overnight she became a civil rights crusader. She always said that when she passed, her spirit was going to follow my son. If anybody gave him a hard time just because he was black, they wouldn't know where the kick in the ass came from but they sure as hell would feel it!

She had a rich and full life after she retired in the early 80s. She was a good, generous and loyal mom, friend, neighbor and grandparent. Don't get me wrong, she could be an ENORMOUS pain in the ass, too. Overall though, I'm glad that I was her son.

In July of 2006, she passed away quietly in her sleep in her own bed in the retirement community that she'd lived in for the final few years of her life. In a last act of generosity, that she planned in 1991, she'd arranged for her body to be donated to a medical school for research. She believed that her good health after 50 years of smoking was due to having good doctors. She wanted to give back. She is still missed and loved by our family. We'll celebrate by having Breyers ice cream (her favorite) for dessert tonight.

Thank you for reading. I wanted to share for 2 reasons. First of all, we're talking about my mom here. Secondly, I have always believed that History isn't just the generals and presidents. It's also the story of US, the working people of this country. I hope that when my son is in his 50s, he'll be able to write about my wife and I the same way I've written about my mom.

At least I know that I have the "pain in the ass" part down pat!

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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you for sharing this. It's interesting how ...
it sort of takes us until we are approximately in our 50s or so to really take stock of our parents and appreciate who they were and what effect they had on us, and on their generation's version of America.

We recently celebrated my father's 95th birthday. I won't start a story here about my own father or mother--this is YOUR Mom's day. But I fully relate to the story you tell. It parallels my own parents' in many ways (though my dad was never a philanderer!).
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MarianJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Happy belated birthday to your dad!
Edited on Fri Dec-09-11 11:07 AM by MarianJack
Thank you for your kind words.

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MarianJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. BTW, frazzled,... secondary reason for this post was that I was hoping some others WOULD share some stories of loved parents, so feel free if you're so inclined.

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MarianJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 05:20 PM
Response to Original message
4. For my Mom,... early evening kick!

Hers is a good story I'd ,ike for more people to see.

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