Monday, December 8, 2008
Happy Birthday Mom
Today would have been Mother's 78th birthday. Carol had lots of challenges during her life, family issues, being widowed at age 52, heart problems. When the congestive heart failure finally claimed her four years ago, she made me promise to burn her diaries, and not to read them. I opened a bottle of merlot, lit a fire in the grate, and fed the bound pages one by one, taking only the quickest glance tossing the pages on the flames. She must have felt that there were things written there that would distress her children, but the only references I saw in those quick peeks were notes about visiting town, or having her hair fixed. If she complained or told dark secrets I didn't see it. I did find five loose handwritten sheets, dated from 1954, and I kept those. Those were the days when she was a young mother, and she was looking forward to the future. This picture is Carol and me, probably 1951. She looks happy.
Mother used to tell the story about the day after Pearl Harbor. She understood that something terrible had happened, but she remembered that her mother and father forgot her birthday that year. I try never to forget it.