It’s Mother’s Day Weekend and I miss my mom. Supportive, funny, interested in everything, and a good listener—perfect strangers would stop her on the street and tell her their problems (used to drive me crazy when I was a kid.) She was an avid reader and the library was a second home to us. I was told stories whenever it rained—family stories and I imagine her stories led me to write my own.
My grandparents and their oldest children came to America escaping the pogroms against the Jews in Russia. The eldest child, my Aunt Betty was responsible for their escape. According to mom, they were hidden by a countess who couldn’t have children and had become very fond of my aunt. The rest of the family agreed but they said their savior was a neighbor not royalty. I’ve always liked my mother’s version better—she tended to add what she called “A little local color.”
Another tale was about playing with my Uncle Johnny in a field near their house in Rhode Island. Mom was wearing a red dress and they attracted the notice of a bull. They were saved by Veterans living in a Home who gave them milk and cookies and thoroughly impressed my mother. After my uncle served in the army, she told him he would now always be able to live at that Veteran’s Home.
Mom had a boyfriend who gave her a box of chocolates whenever they dated. By the time mother returned from the date the chocolates were gone—there were seven children in the family. She decided to hide the candy in the piano. Didn’t work.
She had a job selling hats and was quite successful. The neighborhood housed working class people and the shop sold hats that would meet their budget. Mom made every woman feel like a Vogue model and they returned to the shop whenever they needed a hat.
When I write fiction I try to add a little extra added color and I wish that my mother was here to read each story.