Before Mom was my Mom

I found someone else in a faded, 1953 letter.

That’s my mother, apparently a different woman on the left than the right.

Her second paragraph begins: “Would you like to hear all about my date life”?

  • “So I’ve met a lot of MEN.”
  • “Is Dickie a dream in that picture. I showed it to the girls and Itsy very Nifty from Iowa, said he “sent shivers up and down her spine — just LOOKING at him” and the others just swooned. But I told them he was my sister’s so — —”
  • “I gained 7 lbs in two weeks so I’ll have to go on a diet. How do you do it?”
  • “Believe it or not, I’ve been told about 10 times that I have a “sexy” voice. Isn’t that killing!”
  • “I also saw Jack and I’ve got a “terrific crush” on him. It’s terrible!”
  • “Be good and take it easy on the MEN. Will tell you of the next adventures.”
  1. What turned Mom from an outgoing college freshman full of optimism into an elderly recluse with a pessimistic world view?
  2. What if we could be frozen in time as exuberant, wide-eyed freshmen in college, not yet experiencing crushing disappointment, intractable injustice and occasional happiness? Paraphrasing Barbra Streisand, “If we had the chance to do it all again, again and again, tell me, would we, could we?”
  3. Are we truly the same person throughout our lives or are we actors playing different roles in different seasons?
  4. Did Mom consider Dad a MAN, a real cute boy, a nice boy or none of the above?
  5. What happened to that sexy voice? On second thought, it makes me uncomfortable imagining my mother with a sexy voice.

“Mom, I want you to know how much you have, and still do, mean to me. You have been there since my beginning and have sacrificed for me. You have always been there for me and I want you to know I notice. I’ve grown, we’ve grown and changed, through some good times, and some bad. But I want you to know one thing. Wherever I am, you are my Mom and I am your son and I love you.”

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

--

--

My mission in 3 words: See, write and inspire. I help men over 50 find their God-given zones of genius. Why 50? Getting fired at age 50 fired me up after 50.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
M.M. O'Keefe

My mission in 3 words: See, write and inspire. I help men over 50 find their God-given zones of genius. Why 50? Getting fired at age 50 fired me up after 50.