Saturday, February 27, 2010

"It sure is a pretty day..."

February 27 2010 – 27 years. Hard to believe. I’ve lived more years without my mom than with her. I could have not foreseen the profound changes that the direction of my life would take since then. I learned that I do not want any of my kids to feel the way I did, missing my mom for significant parts of my life. I want to stick around and be a grandmother – my kids did not meet either of their grandmothers.

Recently, my mom’s youngest and only surviving sibling discovered that she had a diary of my mom’s from when she was about 10 or 11 years old. This was surprising news to me, as I’d never seen anything from my mom’s childhood, maybe just one photo of her as a girl in a box under the bed at my grandmother’s house. Now that everyone but the one sister is gone, all I have are the recollections of one person and now, a diary.

The diary arrived a few days after my aunt told me about it. It was small and a little worn. Dated 1936. References to the Texas Centennial that was going on in Dallas. My mom and her family lived on a farm in a small town southeast of Waco in Limestone County. Anything that they heard of in Dallas must have been big news. There is record of the TCU band marching down the street (singular) of Kosse to announce the opening of the Ft. Worth Stock Show.

Interestingly, there are careful notations of births, deaths, fires and illnesses such as measles, mumps and diphtheria. Babies, friends and acquaintances succumbed to these diseases that we no longer consider a threat. Burials were made the next day after passing. Every day there were visitors to their home, either family or neighbors. There was never a day that was spent alone. Cousins, grandparents, schoolmates and friends from town would stop by. The oldest sisters still living at home would spend entire days with their mom washing clothes, shelling peas or scrubbing floors. As a young girl, my mom passed the time cutting out paper dolls or playing a game of jacks, both of which she shared with me when I was little.

Something that my mom repeated several times in her diary struck me. It was a reflection of a happy, innocent time of her life with few cares. “It sure is a pretty day.” It is particularly profound to me because when as I knew her in the last 25 years of her life, she was not so carefree and happy. Somehow it’s comforting to me that she had that sort of joy in her heart and hopefully that is what she is experiencing now… where every day for her, I hope, “it sure is a pretty day”.