Saturday, January 28, 2006

Thanks to Mamma

I was looking at some old photographs today and I came across an old picture of me in a Twist Shirt. I guess I was about 10 years old judging from the Rose Hair tonic glistening on my temples and that debonair twirl on my forehead.. That would have been about 1961 when the Twist craze swept the nation. I looked good in that shirt. That was before permanent press but my clothes had nary a wrinkle. My pants were washed nightly and starched with Faultless starch. My mom would then put the blue jeans in pants creasers and hang them to dry behind the Warm Morning coal stove. When they dried, they would stand up by themselves. She still had to iron the top part, but the legs had creases you could cut your finger on.
Being a mother is a tough job. There are so many things they do that go unnoticed....unappreciated.
My dad didn't spend much time in school when he was a kid so the jobs he had never paid that much. We had the basics, but my mom paid for all the extra stuff we enjoyed.
She washed and ironed clothes for folks in Dora and she saved the money for Christmas and to buy us the extras. She started washing for one of the prominent businessmen in the area and the first time he came to pick up his white shirts he said "this white shirt is luminous." My mom looked at the shirt in horror. "I'm so sorry, I can wash it again, she apologized." "No, no I don't think it was this clean when I bought it," he said smiling. I had to look the word up because I didn't know what it meant either.
As a kid, I don't remember thanking her for all she did.
My mother has had a lot of serious health problems the last few years and she now lives with my sister. I'm sitting with her tonight to give my sister some time off. I asked mom if she remembered the Twist shirt. "Naw, I don't remember much anymore," she said. But when I asked if she remembered how she paid for it, she made an ironing motion with her hands and gave me a smile. We talked for awhile about those days and I told her thank you for all she ever did for me. She smiled again, nodded her head, and looked back at her hands. "I was glad I could do it," she said quietly.
I hope my mamma lives a long time and I hope she realizes that she did a remarkable job. I know am thankful for her and all she has done for me.

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