I’m the happy product of the baby-boomer generation that afforded me a dad who worked long hours at his job and mom who worked longer hours at home. My mother’s parenting began in the early morning hours, as she put together my three course breakfast before tiptoeing into my room to wake me. For those of you born too late to be privy to 1950’s breakfast delights—here’s a sample: fresh squeezed orange juice, or a grapefruit half, scrambled eggs, cold sugary cereal with whole milk and buttered toast with raspberry jam. And that was only school-days fare—on weekends she served up multi-course feasts.Read More
One More Thing Before I Go
Last spring when the scent of lilacs followed me from the backyard into my kitchen, I thought of my mother’s distant cousin and her daughters, who, like my lilacs, visited yearly when the earth warmed and the days grew longer. I pictured us all in idyllic memories of jump rope games and playing with dolls. But, except for MaryAnn, the littlest daughter, I could not remember their names.
A few years ago, I could have called my mother. She would have teased me for my forgetfulness, asked what I was making for dinner (there was never a phone conversation where we didn’t talk about food) and repeated her mother-to-daughter mantra, “When are you coming over?” We would have shared stories of those long-ago days before hanging-up and re-joining our lives. But my mother has passed on and while the images of our family lingers-the details are lost. I write One more thing before I go, my living record for my son, in hope that one day, when he has a question I can no longer answer, it can be found in this blog.
Grandma Rose was the middle child of five with Bess the eldest girl and great uncle Sammy between them—even when they were in their eighties, Grandma called her big brother, Sammy as if they were still children at the orphan asylum. Following them, were great aunt Edna and the youngest, Sidney. Theirs were old fashioned names of a time long gone: The first two children were born in the 1890’s. But the human condition, whether in the digital age or the days of horses and buggies remains the same. People have always loved and lost, suffered or triumphed. No matter how woeful these children of the Brooklyn streets spent their early lives, they each lived to be quite old for their generation and with more financial stability than they began as the offspring of a deaf and mute mother and alcoholic dad; making them winners in the game of life.Read More