Thursday, April 05, 2012

My Mother Never Danced

Because things are not going so good with all the techie stuff, I thought I'd do something different. Kate recently did a post about her mother after being inspired by this post. So I'm going to do something similar.

My mother never danced. She liked music and we had a combination radio and record player from as far back as I can remember. It played 78's and my parents had stacks of them but she only sat and listened. I still have a box full of those old 78's upstairs.

My mother never had a dirty house. She was extremely organized and everything got done on a specific day of the week. People always said you could eat off my mother's floors. I used to wear white bobby socks and after walking around the house all day in them there was never any sign of dirt on the bottoms. She was an excellent housekeeper...unlike me! Strangely, she never taught me anything about cleaning. I never had any chores to do.

My mother was also a very good cook. Nothing fancy, just good wholesome food. She cooked what my dad liked and that was it. We never had fish because he didn't like it. We never had fried chicken because he didn't like it. We never had cakes because he didn't like them. The only time my mother made cake was for my birthday. But we had pies and cookies and ice cream all the time. Pecan pie was one of my mom's specialties and I love it to this day. My mother never taught me to cook.

My mother sewed most of my clothes but seldom made anything for herself. She liked to do embroidery and it turned up on dish towels, dresser scarves, pillowcases, and tablecloths. It's the one thing my mother taught me how to do.

My mother loved to read. It's one of my best memories of mother curled up on the couch with a book in her hand. And a cup of coffee beside her. She drank coffee all day long.

My mother never wore bright colors until she was in her later years. She almost always wore dark colors but she always looked nice. Every Friday night we went out for dinner. And I don't mean to something like McDonald's either. We dressed up and went to a nice restaurant with tablecloths and candlelight...sometimes one with a live band and dancing. But my mother never danced.

My mother didn't like anything crude or crass or rude. She was always a lady about everything. She would have a gin and Squirt when we went out for dinner but I never knew her to drink much at all. My mother never drank beer that I know of. She smoked Pall Mall cigarettes, and I remember when I was very little she told me not to tell my dad! I guess he must have found out about it because later she smoked in front of him. The only person she never smoked in front of was her mother.

My mother loved my father very much and was devastated when he left us for another woman who had six children! I don't think she ever got over that. When she died I found a packet of love letters my dad wrote to her before they were married. She had them tied together with a ribbon and hidden in her closet. They're written in pencil and fading from time.

My mother was not religious. We never went to church. She grew up with a mother who was very religious and my mother didn't like anything about it.

My mother died early at the age of 63. She had lupus but never told anyone...not me, not her sisters, not anyone. She was a very private person and didn't ever share her feelings with me. I'm sad that we never really knew each other. She was a good person but too private.

My mother would have been 97 years old this year. I miss her and wish she could see how my life turned out. I think she'd be surprised.


  1. This is very interesting about your mother. She was a beautiful woman. I can feel the sadness in your words about not knowing her on a more intimate level.

    My mother died too, at 63, from cancer. Too young. I miss her everyday, every hour really.

    I suppose I will be like you, 34 years later still missing my mother, God willing.

    Very nice post and tribute to your mother. She did a nice job of raising a daughter ;)

  2. My heart goes out to you, Janet! ((hugs))
    My Grandmother, died from Lupus... we were very, very close.
    This was and still is hard on me, I was the one who found her (asleep) as well.
    They would be proud of us :]

  3. Anonymous3:38 PM

    what a beautiful tribute to your mum Janet, I hear the sadness in your writing, I also hear the pride you have for her, maybe she dances in heaven,

  4. Inspirational Janet! I'm going to do that too!! Beautiful genuine tribute to your mom...My mom also read and could be known to drink coffee all day!

    Hugs Giggles

  5. Janet, if your mother could see your life today, I know she'd be proud of you. <3

    My father passed away last summer at age 90. There were two generation gaps between us, so I never really knew him, either -- and I wish I had.

  6. so beautifully written! leaves me with a lump in my throat.

  7. I loved reading this Janet and it made me think about my mother--I may try to write our story.

  8. That was straight from the heart Janet. xoxo

  9. Once again you have inspired others
    sounds like several will follow and share about their loved ones.I remember your mother brushing your hair and getting that pony tail just right and at your house
    there was Pepsi, lots of paper, art
    pencils, and 45's. I'm very thankful for all of the great memories, and for you, my forever friend. Loved reading this post.

  10. Janet,

    Oh I am so touched by your memoir. To never dance seems unthinkable to me but I understand it too. So sorry that you were not closer and that she died so young. I think doing these memorial writing pieces are so powerful. Thanks for a glimpse into your world. I am richer by knowing her through you. We all need to tell our stories. They are so important to hear.


  11. What a beautiful story Janet. Well told.

  12. My mother and I were close, but I don't think I really knew her. Your Mom sounds like a real lady, and I know she raised one too.
    Happy Easter

  13. Janet...what a bittersweet story about your mother. Her story is your story too...because hers affects you. If your mother had lived a longer life, I'm thinking that you may have gotten to know her better. My relationship with my own mother has changed for the better as we've both gotten older. I'm sorry that you never had a chance to get to know your mother better. Thanks for sharing your story...I know you mentioned once that you hadn't spoken to your, I have the answer to that.

  14. I hung on every word. I wonder what my kids would say about me...?
    You are such a beautiful person, we learn from the good, and the hard. Sometimes I think that I spoiled my kids to much...of course that is not how they would tell it. Have a wonderful weekend...I need to write about my Dad too...Love you,Mary

  15. I love what you said about your mother.

  16. Hi Janet,
    I enjoyed reading about your mom.
    It is sad she was so private. I guess it was partly her generation as well...but she must have loved you and your dad so much. How nice you still have those love letters.
    I miss my mom matter what I think we are connected to our mothers like no other person on earth. They are always a part of us whether they are here or elsewhere...
    I will never be the same though without my mom. It is a sadness I've never felt so deep.
    Have a great Easter and thanks for sharing this tribute.

  17. This is really touching, Janet. She sounds like such an interesting woman...kind of a "suffering in silence" type. But she held it all together to keep a nice home for her children. Very sweet to hear your recollections.

  18. Oh Janet, I wish I can hug you.... this is such a lovely post. Thank you for introducing us to your mother, she sounds like someone I wish I was a friend to. You write so beautifully!


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