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My Mother’s Daughter

Mom in the Smokies

This morning my mind drifted to my mother and her two sisters. Everyone said my mother and one of her sisters looked alike – they didn’t. They did favor one another, but they looked very different. My other aunt looked much different than her other two sisters.

One of my aunts was a school teacher. One summer I spent some time with her, but we never really established a strong connection. She was a lovely woman, but was more focused on things being just so. She took me to her gym – I remember sitting on a machine of moving rollers designed to eliminate cellulite I think. I was about ten or eleven. It was all a strange experience to me. Her life was far removed from the way my mother lived.

My other aunt was a chemist. She was very smart and very unassuming. She was married but never had children. Looking back, I think she was a bit of a hoarder, but was surrounded by the things that made her happy – books and family letters and memorabilia. I do not think she ever threw anything away – especially not letters or pictures from family. She made most of her own clothes, maybe from the same pattern. She lived on a dairy farm and led a simple life.

My mother fell somewhere between the two. She was a hard worker. There was no money for her to finish college, so she spent her life doing blue collar work. Her last job was working for the post office as a mail carrier. She had a foot route and she loved it. She got to know the people on her route and she loved being outside and getting exercise. It was a hard job, but she really did enjoy it.

This morning it struck me just how much I am like my mother. I did not get to go to college right out of high school. I joined the Air Force instead. My mother had already been diagnosed with terminal cancer so having a job was important. My mom never put on airs. She was herself in all situations and places. She loved to be comfortable and was happy in jeans or sweats. On occasion she would dress up and put on makeup and jewelry, but it was rare. Her family was everything to her.

She was always a country girl at heart, and I guess I am, too.