I have been writing about my father since I published the old Earth Image’s newsletter. He was still alive at that time but very sick. I often mention my father on December 7th because he was stationed at an air base that was attacked during the Pearl Harbor bombing.
I have barely mentioned my mother over the years and I think that is because she died before the digital age of communication. I loved my mom as much as my dad, and I would like to take this Mother’s Day to salute her.
My mother had the opportunity to be a housewife/mother for about seven years. When I was somewhere around three (my sister seven) she went to work. Working an hourly job was not new to my mom. During World War ll she lived in California and worked for a while as a car hop in a drive up restaurant, and then in a military aircraft plant. America was short on working age men during World War ll for obvious reasons, and it was women like my mother, who went to work and gave men like my father what they needed to fight, and to stay alive. They remain unsung heroes.
When she went to work during my lifetime, she found a job as a nursing assistant at a Tuberculosis Sanitarium. Yes I am old enough to remember when developed countries like the U.S. were still ravaged by diseases like TB and Polio. Eventually the sanitarium was closed and she moved to a county owned hospital for the indigent. She went on to run a floor for permanent residents of the hospital.
I still remember when once a week my mother would load her own car with people who were physically and mentally challenged, and drive them to a department store. She would give each of them a few dollars out of her pocket so they could buy whatever they wanted. She gave them the gift of freedom. For a few hours a week, they had a sense of being empowered and of having personal responsibility
Her working that job, lifted my sisters and my lifestyle, from slightly below middle class to slightly above. That is an enormous difference.
She was a mixture of love and toughness, maybe even more than my father. She could be loving and warm mother but you did not miss school because of a mere sore throat or to do something “fun“. With my mother or my father, if you lied, stole or broke your word, there would be hell to pay. I did all of those things in my youth so I know. There is nothing like a mix of toughness and genuine love that is handed out with consistency to help you on your journey through life.
I appreciate all that I learned from my mother and all of the love she gave me.
Thanks mom, Wayne
My mother loved all animals, be they house pets or wildlife. She never got to know my photography as being a primarily nature thing, but she would have loved the images below. My first visit to see the wild burros of Custer State Park in South Dakota was when I was a child traveling with her and my father.
The image below of American Coots is a sub-par picture. I share it anyway because it proves the mantra that sometimes you find babies that only a mother could love.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms out there, Wayne
For those of you who had to suffer through this post twice, I thank you for your patience. The only difference should be the number of photos included.