Saturday, May 11, 2013

I HAD TWO MOTHERS

Every Mother's Day I gave two gifts. One for my mom and one for my great-aunt Vi.

My father was never in my life. We, my 2 older brothers , mom, and me, lived in the lower apartment of Aunt Vi's large 3-apartment house, until I was 9 years old. Yes, those were my formative years, Aunt Vi was like a mother (actually a father, but that is too complicated for this post) to me, so she always got a gift and card.

Mom liked candy and paperback romance books; Aunt Vi liked ceramic nick knacks, especially dolls and birds. She had quite a collection of dolls. The glass birds I could afford, so that is mostly what I gave her. Every year of their lives---a Mother's Day card.

When I had a good job, lived many miles away, they got flowers every year. Mom always loved whatever she got; Aunt Vi always exclaimed: "I'm not a mother!" But she was a second parent to me.

Friday I had my teeth cleaned. As often happens with a new hygienist, she said, "Oh! You have an extra tooth!" I do, just like Aunt Vi, located in the exact same spot. For the first time today I was told the "extra tooth" is hereditary, in the genes. I felt very close to Aunt Vi and we were alike in temperament. We were alike in many ways. She lived with the same woman, whom she had met as a teen, until death did they part.

I thought more than once that my mom felt bad about the special connection that Aunt Vi and I had. I even asked her about it once, because *I* felt kind of bad about it. Mom said it was fine. She said she was happy for me.
My great-aunt Vi was my mom's aunt. When Grandma (Mom's mom, and Aunt Vi's oldest sister) died at age 56, my mom was only 15. Many times Mom stayed with Aunt Vi, who was 21 years her senior. When Mom finally 'ran away' from home (she didn't like her father's new wife), she ran to live with Aunt Vi. When money was scarce after my father (COUGH) left for his much younger mistress, it was Aunt Vi who always helped Mom out, with rent, food, and clothes for us kids.

Shortly after Aunt Vi's longtime companion died, she moved in with Mom, and they lived together until Aunt Vi was in her late 90s heading for a nursing home. Both were, by then, in the throngs of dementia and/or Alzheimer's. Aunt Vi died at the age of 103. Mom is 85, living with Alzheimer's in a nursing home. I sent her her favorite candy, fudge.

Yes, I had two mothers. It was wonderful. They were very different...one stubborn, bold, brave, the other shy, reserved, easy-going. In myself I see all their influences. I can't imagine me without both mothers.

Happy Mother's Day!

FIRST PHOTO:    My mom in aunt Vi's living room, about 35 years old.

SECOND PHOTO: Aunt Vi with two Amish dolls I bought for her. (I forgot about them!) That chair and wall paper was red VELVET in her bedroom.

2 comments:

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Every Mother's Day I gave two gifts. One for my mom and one for my great-aunt Vi.

My father was never in my life. We, my 2 older brothers , mom, and me, lived in the lower apartment of Aunt Vi's large 3-apartment house, until I was 9 years old. Yes, those were my formative years, Aunt Vi was like a mother (actually a father, but that is too complicated for this post) to me, so she always got a gift and card.

Mom liked candy and paperback romance books; Aunt Vi liked ceramic nick knacks, especially dolls and birds. She had quite a collection of dolls. The glass birds I could afford, so that is mostly what I gave her. Every year of their lives---a Mother's Day card.

When I had a good job, lived many miles away, they got flowers every year. Mom always loved whatever she got; Aunt Vi always exclaimed: "I'm not a mother!" But she was a second parent to me.

Friday I had my teeth cleaned. As often happens with a new hygienist, she said, "Oh! You have an extra tooth!" I do, just like Aunt Vi, located in the exact same spot. For the first time today I was told the "extra tooth" is hereditary, in the genes. I felt very close to Aunt Vi and we were alike in temperament. We were alike in many ways. She lived with the same woman, whom she had met as a teen, until death did they part.

I thought more than once that my mom felt bad about the special connection that Aunt Vi and I had. I even asked her about it once, because *I* felt kind of bad about it. Mom said it was fine. She said she was happy for me.
My great-aunt Vi was my mom's aunt. When Grandma (Mom's mom, and Aunt Vi's oldest sister) died at age 56, my mom was only 15. Many times Mom stayed with Aunt Vi, who was 21 years her senior. When Mom finally 'ran away' from home (she didn't like her father's new wife), she ran to live with Aunt Vi. When money was scarce after my father (COUGH) left for his much younger mistress, it was Aunt Vi who always helped Mom out, with rent, food, and clothes for us kids.

Shortly after Aunt Vi's longtime companion died, she moved in with Mom, and they lived together until Aunt Vi was in her late 90s heading for a nursing home. Both were, by then, in the throngs of dementia and/or Alzheimer's. Aunt Vi died at the age of 103. Mom is 85, living with Alzheimer's in a nursing home. I sent her her favorite candy, fudge.

Yes, I had two mothers. It was wonderful. They were very different...one stubborn, bold, brave, the other shy, reserved, easy-going. In myself I see all their influences. I can't imagine me without both mothers.

Happy Mother's Day!

FIRST PHOTO:    My mom in aunt Vi's living room, about 35 years old.

SECOND PHOTO: Aunt Vi with two Amish dolls I bought for her. (I forgot about them!) That chair and wall paper was red VELVET in her bedroom.

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twiceshy said...

Every Mother's Day I gave two gifts. One for my mom and one for my great-aunt Vi.

My father was never in my life. We, my 2 older brothers , mom, and me, lived in the lower apartment of Aunt Vi's large 3-apartment house, until I was 9 years old. Yes, those were my formative years, Aunt Vi was like a mother (actually a father, but that is too complicated for this post) to me, so she always got a gift and card.

Mom liked candy and paperback romance books; Aunt Vi liked ceramic nick knacks, especially dolls and birds. She had quite a collection of dolls. The glass birds I could afford, so that is mostly what I gave her. Every year of their lives---a Mother's Day card.

When I had a good job, lived many miles away, they got flowers every year. Mom always loved whatever she got; Aunt Vi always exclaimed: "I'm not a mother!" But she was a second parent to me.

Friday I had my teeth cleaned. As often happens with a new hygienist, she said, "Oh! You have an extra tooth!" I do, just like Aunt Vi, located in the exact same spot. For the first time today I was told the "extra tooth" is hereditary, in the genes. I felt very close to Aunt Vi and we were alike in temperament. We were alike in many ways. She lived with the same woman, whom she had met as a teen, until death did they part.

I thought more than once that my mom felt bad about the special connection that Aunt Vi and I had. I even asked her about it once, because *I* felt kind of bad about it. Mom said it was fine. She said she was happy for me.
My great-aunt Vi was my mom's aunt. When Grandma (Mom's mom, and Aunt Vi's oldest sister) died at age 56, my mom was only 15. Many times Mom stayed with Aunt Vi, who was 21 years her senior. When Mom finally 'ran away' from home (she didn't like her father's new wife), she ran to live with Aunt Vi. When money was scarce after my father (COUGH) left for his much younger mistress, it was Aunt Vi who always helped Mom out, with rent, food, and clothes for us kids.

Shortly after Aunt Vi's longtime companion died, she moved in with Mom, and they lived together until Aunt Vi was in her late 90s heading for a nursing home. Both were, by then, in the throngs of dementia and/or Alzheimer's. Aunt Vi died at the age of 103. Mom is 85, living with Alzheimer's in a nursing home. I sent her her favorite candy, fudge.

Yes, I had two mothers. It was wonderful. They were very different...one stubborn, bold, brave, the other shy, reserved, easy-going. In myself I see all their influences. I can't imagine me without both mothers.

Happy Mother's Day!

FIRST PHOTO:    My mom in aunt Vi's living room, about 35 years old.

SECOND PHOTO: Aunt Vi with two Amish dolls I bought for her. (I forgot about them!) That chair and wall paper was red VELVET in her bedroom.

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