and 3 days ago.
She was almost born into a country where women weren't allowed to vote. The 19th Amendment was passed in 1920, and Mom was born in 1922. Mama was more than my Mom. For me, she was my best girlfriend, my counselor, my confidante, my cheerleader, and my political mentor. For others, she was a friend, a partner, a political activist, and a revolutionary.
She was an early feminist who went through those messy, often painful times, raising her own and unwilling husbands' consciousness about the rigid patriarchy and ugly mysogyny that surrounded her and women -- not that long ago -- to open life and expand the world for women. Like most pioneers, she received the sticks and stones while we who came after her got to walk into the promised land.
For her 3 daughters, she preached that the path to success was through the front door of the school house, because she wanted us to have careers, and more choices, and more economic power than she and her generation had. All 3 of us went on to earn advanced degrees. 3 for 3, Momma. Look at us, Momma! 3 for 3, Momma. You did well.
And, in the fullness of the generosity of her love, she was proud and happy for us to have what she never had the opportunity to have for herself. THAT and such is was the greatness of her Mother's Love for her 3 little girls.
When it was time to create her obituary, the funeral planner had a form he used to ask questions to create the newspaper notice. Religion? None. Well, not really. See, she felt the Catholic Church that she loved with all her heart as a girl rejected her as a woman. And, that broke her heart. So, she left religion, but I don't really know how she felt about God. She never spoke about it -- whether that was because of strong principles or unspeakable hurt, I never knew. Better to skip that, I suppose. Schooling? High school graduate, and she was proud of that. She was an unwavering supporter of education. In lieu of flowers, people sent donations to the public school where I'm a teacher. Group Memberships? She was a lifelong member of the Democratic Party.
Yes, yes, begin the notice with that. She was a lifelong member of the Democratic Party.
Early this morning, I placed an order for some robotics materials with money that was donated in her name. Both girls and boys will get to learn about STEM, because of her, and I'll be their teacher, because of her.
Now, I'm sitting here crying, trying to describe a woman who shaped my self, my soul, my worldview, and my world -- and I miss her more than all the words I could ever type in a lifetime. What I wouldn't give to hand her a card, today, just one more time, and have her gush over the words I carefully chose and bought to try to tell her thank you, and I love you, Momma.
Momma, I don't know where you are, or if you are anywhere, or if you can hear me. I would like to believe in Heaven, but I guess my faith is too small, or my honesty is too big to believe in Heaven 100%. But the internet is digital and it may go on forever and maybe the electrons hop in and out to different dimensions and maybe Momma you can hear the love in my broken heart crying out to you today ... somehow. I hope so. I HOPE so.
I love you, Momma. Thank you, Momma. I miss you, Momma. Happy Mother's Day, Momma.