My poor mother. I was a difficult child even before I was born.
Mother had been pregnant before, but only one of those babies made it full term, and he was stillborn. Mother didn't expect me to make it either, because she had what was then called "uremic poisoning". I think there's a different name for it now. She told me how happy she was to hear the doctor say at my birth, "It's a little Mary-Jane."
Of course my birth was a joyous occasion for a thirty-two-year-old woman and a man who was five years older, who was actually responsible for my birth in July because on his birthday in October, 1943, he decided not to take the usual precautions.
I was my daddy's birthday gift, nine months later. Yes, my mother told me this story.
They may have regretted their hasty decision after I was born, because I kept them awake walking the floor for a year after my birth. I had colic.
I got my payback when my first child was born. I wouldn't take a million dollars for that boy.
I was a peculiar child, a loner, a rebel. If my mother asked me to pick up my toys or help with housework, I pitched a fit.
I still don't like anybody telling me what to do. If you don't believe it, ask my husband.
All my mom wanted was for me to be baptized into the Church of Christ, marry a good Church-of-Christ boy, have a couple of babies and go to heaven when I died. I complied with the first, mostly to get her off my back. After that, it was Katy bar the door. I'm still hoping she gets the last of those wishes, but if I make it into heaven it will be only by the grace of God and my mother's prayers.
We were like oil and water until the end. I'm sorry I couldn't be the dream child she wanted, but you know what? I always knew I was loved.
My mom never made me eat any food I didn't like. She told me a story about how, when I was a toddler, she told our family doctor I wasn't eating certain foods that she felt I needed. He told her, "We don't care what she eats, just as long as she eats."
That's the rule she went by from that time on. Perhaps it led to my lifelong weight problem, but I'm an adult now, so I don't blame my mother for my shortcomings I am responsible for my own choices.
The wonderful thing about my mother is that I always knew she loved me. I will go to my grave knowing my mother loved me and wanted the best for me. That's what everybody needs to know; I only hope my children have that same knowledge.
|My mother and me at a wrestling match, 1959|
|My mother with my first grandchild, Arick|