My Dad worked in newspapers. My Mom stayed home until I started school. She worked in a cafeteria when I started first grade so she would be home when we were. When I started second grade I was too shy to tell them my Mom was picking me up and they stuck me on the bus along with my aggravated older sister who tried to get me off the bus, but I was too scared. When we got home that day my Mom made the announcement that since we could ride the bus, she was going to work.
My Mom was a very smart woman. She excelled at every job she had. When we moved to Southwest Louisiana she got a job taking payments in the water department of the city we lived in. It wasn't long before she was the purchasing agent for the city.
I want to tell you about my Mom, for a moment. My Mom was private. She wasn't a recluse, but she was close. I never remember her going out with her girlfriends, or yacking on the phone. When my Mom was hurting she dealt with her own pain. So many things she carried we never, ever knew about.
My Mom was very funny. And, her humor is one of the things I'm glad she passed down to me. She was not the type to get into your business but when she did it was warranted and you definitely paid attention.
She taught me what it meant to be a woman. Just by example I learned how to carry myself, in all situations. I learned the importance of dignity and grace. I learned about how to handle people and the importance of family.
And, I learned about the love of a mother. I learned that when you accept this role you are no longer out to serve yourself. You have a greater calling. Oh, neither of my parents coddled us. We learned early on that if we made a mess of our lives we needed to be prepared to clean it up. The consequences were our own.
But, they taught us about working hard and not expecting anyone to pay us just to exist.
I was walking with my cousin the other day and she said something that caused me to look sideways at her. As soon as I did it I told her that was a Peggy look. More and more my mother takes over my actions, my mannerisms. I know it's partially genetics and partially not wanting to let go.
I miss her every day. She was my very best friend. She loved me without condition, but she also pushed me to always rise above. I miss her touch, her voice, her laughter, her smell. Even at my age, I want my Mama.
Knowing that I had her for 42 years and she only had hers for 16, makes my breath catch. The missing of her own mother was so powerful and caused such a wound that I didn't even know what happened until I was older. She didn't talk about it. Only tidbits on occasion. As the years passed she shared more and more but I didn't get the stories from her that I did from my Dad. It's almost like the pain made it too great.
But, I talk of mine often. It seems like just yesterday I kissed her goodbye. I will never be too old to remember. Never be too old to want to lay my head in her lap one more time.
Missing her greatly. Today and always.