Sunday, May 13, 2012

Stories about My Mother

Last year I shared some of the stories my mother had told me.  She liked to talk about her family, and I heard lots of stories.  But some of the stories about her I only heard after she had passed away.

I didn't learn how my parents had met until several years after my mother had died.  My grandmother told me that one evening my mother and her best friend had gone out to party.  Before they got to their event, their car had problems and was stuck at the side of the road.  My mother was upset that they were going to miss the party, but her friend told her not to worry:  "My uncle's a mechanic, I'll call him.  He can fix it."  Her uncle is my father, and so they met.  I don't know if it was love at first sight, but they married and had three children, so it couldn't have been too bad.

Some years later I had the opportunity to meet that best friend, who is my first cousin.  (She's only seven years younger than my father, because her mother [my father's half-sister] was 21 years older than my father.)  She told me that she and my mother had been proto-Women's Libbers and promised never to marry, have kids, or settle down.  Apparently she stuck to the plan better than my mother did!  After my mother married and moved to California they mostly fell out of touch.

Another story my grandmother told me was how when my mother was about 12 years old she announced one day that she wanted to go to Midnight Mass.  My grandmother just about had a fit!  The family was Jewish, she wasn't going to mass with my mother, and she certainly wasn't going to allow my mother to go out at midnight by herself.  Needless to say, my mother didn't go to Midnight Mass that year, but she maintained a healthy interest in Catholicism during her life.  She married a Catholic (my father was raised Catholic), and I even went to Midnight Mass with my mother more than once.  (Never saw her in a synagogue, though.)

It's always interesting to hear about your close relatives from other people.  You can view their lives in a new perspective.

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