Monday, May 4, 2015

For the love of Mom

In honor of my mom, I am wearing her raccoon hat while I write about the special moms of Neff Road. I picture Mom doing the Charleston in the kitchen. An apron dusted with flour. Peeled potatoes in the old tin pot ready to cook for a field full of hands (farm hands for those who are not farm savvy). A woman with an apron full of greens, beans or peas. A basket full of eggs. Some still warm from the hen's warm nest. A basket of yarn and crochet needles moving quickly. Ragtime piano and a voice that could be clearly heard whenever she sang. A woman who could confuse as well as inform. She was one of a kind this Ruth Johnson Loxley. And she was my remarkable mother.

Neff Road just like all country roads was filled with women who knew how to work hard. They grew up making soap, sewing sack cloth, toting chamber pots and learning from their mothers what was needed to support the menfolk in the family while keeping the house and children in order. It was not an easy childhood for these women. Their future homes would be modern with electricity, indoor plumbing, appliances and water running from a faucet in the house. They were allowed to be more creative. Some worked away from home. They were post war years when life was easier and new ways of living were at hand. These were the mothers of the 1950s.

As I have said in the past, I had many mothers on Neff Road. Some were in many ways closer to me than my own mom. Mom was always busy with so many other people. She was a caring person who watched over her community and tried to make it better. Margaret Stager was the mom who probably saw me in her house as much as I was in the white house back the lane. I loved going there to play with Brenda. Hollie and Margaret loved me and treated me like one of their own. Next door to us, well down the lane and to the right, lived Doris Lavy. A woman who over the years would find a special place in my heart. "You didn't know it, but I always watched over you," she told me. She was the one person who understood the loneliness of that little girl who seemed to roam the farm and road between the bridge and Brenda's house. There are no words deep enough to express the love I have for those two women. Going home to visit meant more than that drive back the lane to my parents. It meant that I would see those women and their families again.

We should all have such Mothers in our lives. They became my special moms, because I cared to continue to make those relationships stronger as time passed by. I gave them a love I couldn't understand as a child. I cherish them and their families, understanding what they added and continue to add to my life.

I no longer have any of those mothers, but I have them embedded in my heart. This is my Mother's Day thanks to them and the memories I hold dear. This is for you to remember and cherish what you have. For all of you birth mothers and those of you who are mothers of the heart, Happy Mother's Day and thank you. Mom, I sit here in your raccoon hat with a smile on my face. You taught me to appreciate others and to love with all my heart. This for you and the mothers of Neff Road. I love you and thank you.

1 comment:

Axiesdad said...

Beautifully said. My own mother was my center, my rock, the one person who was always in my life; a widow at twenty six, she remarried when I was four to the man who would be my dad for the next fifty three years and was always all of those things you have written. I wish I had told her.