Tomorrow is my mom's birthday. She was born in 1934. She died in 2001. I miss her. She gave great hugs (if you didn't know how she would teach you how to hug and she didn't go for any halfway hugs) and made the best oven-fried chicken. She had blue eyes. She had a round face and many many crows feet from her smile that rarely left her face. When they did she was disappointing. She was also very messed up and hit me alot but she loved so strongly that it's been easy to forgive her. I think I probably didn't ever really get mad at her for it. I don't remember hating her like I hated my father. I remember feeling sorry for her. She would get so fierce that I thought something was going to break. When the hurt came down on me I can remember thinking "maybe she'll be okay now and I can say I'm sorry and we'll hug".
I'm glad that she was who she was. I loved hearing her stories about when she was young and single and living it up in Detroit with her girlfriends. I love to look at the photos of her sunbathing in the 50's. She was free from her abusive mother, had several friends and a couple roommates, worked as a keypunch operator at GE. She didn't look like that ever as a mom. She worked almost all the time, back when women ironed sheets. I remember her being exhausted and going to bed by 9:30 p.m. every night. The closest she got to relaxing was when we took a break from hoeing or picking pickles. She'd pour herself half a beer and sit in front of the fan in her sweat-soaked sleeveless white shirt. Her brown hair would be flying every which way making her look much like a TV madman, except for her smile. I felt so sorry for her and wished we were rich then. Her eyes would droop as she relaxed but it would only be for about a 1/2 hour and then we'd be back out again hoeing weeds or picking pickles until 3:00 p.m. Then she'd go in to start dinner and put on her "shows". She'd escape into General Hospital and then get on the phone with my abusive Grandmother to talk about what was going to happen tomorrow. I hope she felt that she lived a good life when she died but I don't think she did.