My mom Emily kept a pink Avon lipstick, clear plastic rain hat, white comb, A&P coupons and a few clean tissues in her purse at all times. She wore an apron on Sundays when she made dinner, still dressed for church where she sang in the choir and taught Sunday school. She served on the local symphony board, wrote thank you notes and had a stunning smile.
She was a Phi Beta Kappa, studying and writing poetry, moving through her days as a mother to six children with gentle thoughtfulness and intentional efficiency.
When she and my dad divorced after 36 years of marriage, they both found new partners and seemed to breath deep with relief and freedom. Mom continued to care for her new husband with feminine grace, though I don’t think she wore aprons unless she was beating frosting. I loved her growing up, admired her when I became a mother and miss her now that she’s gone.
In all the sweet memories of her, among my favorites are those moments when, completely out of character, she would curse. Yup, that was the best. Cursing has come a long way and back then, was kindler and more gentle.
But still, when Em would drop a schnizzle* or a heck, the world came to a screeching halt. It must have been all that vocal training, but she could project, launching a dangit across the kitchen with the propulsion and volume of a hydrogen bomb. It didn’t happen that often (RIP, mom) but at those moments, my very own June Cleaver would morph into a real human, a frustrated but strong woman who was confident enough to curse. Now, don’t get me wrong. I was well into my teens when I first heard her whisper a “go to heck” and I don’t think I ever heard her drop a frick bomb. I could be wrong, but that’s my prerogative.
As a mother to three amazing young adults (19, 22, 27), I have been known to ask, WTH? (and worse) when discussing injustice, inflated restaurant menu prices and pollen.
In this issue, we honor women. In all their glory.
Happy Mother’s Day
*this is a family magazine, therefore mom’s curses are dumbed down on this page.