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.


23 thoughts on “My Mother’s Daughter”

  1. Lovely memories, mY mum’s youngest sister was very different from the other two, always in trouble at school and would go off on adventures with her friends. As I remember her she was larger than life and always made an ‘entrance’ – Hello Dahling!

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    1. Thank you, Don. I suppose I should look no further than my own two sisters to see how different we can be. So similar in core values, but so different in pursuits and lifestyle.

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  2. Always nice to remember our lovely mothers. My mum had three sisters. One was older, the next one died aged 4 when my mum was a baby, and the younger one came along when my mum was already working. A ‘late baby’ as they used to say. They were all alike in features, but very different in pesonalities.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. Pete, it seems to be a consistent observation. All of my aunts were pretty close in age with my mom being the youngest. They sure were different, though. Did you know your aunts well?

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      1. Yes, very well. I was brought up with them, as all the families lived in the same street until 1967. When we moved away later, I kept in touch with them regularly until they died. The younger sister died of breast cancer aged 62, but the oldest one outlived my mum, and died when she was 91.

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  3. It’s delightful to see your mother and aunts through your eyes. Fascinating that you see your mother in yourself. The older I get the more I like knowing how my peers view their childhoods. I remember those machines with moving rollers designed to eliminate cellulite– and the ones with a big band around your hips that shook the stuffing out of you, for some reason.


    1. Oh, Ally, my aunt’s gym had those vibrating belts, too! She had to be in her late 30s at the time. It was quite the shock for a kid of my age.

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  4. Oh Maggie, I loved this!
    I am definitely my mother’s daughter as well ❤
    I remember going with my grandmother to some gym type-spa type place where they had the roller machine to jiggle the fat.

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