A Twinkle in her eye


Mom and Dad on a good day


Momma was one of those people who was ahead of her time, yet never quite got the recognition she deserved. She was a peace activist, civil rights activist, feminist, LGBT ally and staunch supporter of education for all children, long before women voiced their opinions of such things. She raised me to go through life with my heart and eyes open, giving everyone the same opportunity to share the path.

Last night, after a long, long battle with more disease and pain than any human should have to live with, she died. My brothers and I are now orphans of the Universe. Strangely, I am not sad.

~~~~

When I was ten years old, Momma was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis a debilitating neuro-muscular disease that threatened to take her life. At that time, I was told that I should "prepare for" my mother's death. It was a horrible burden to put on a child.

For the next several years, she was in and out of the hospital; each time potentially being her last. Yet, she continued to survive, much to the amazement of her doctors. In addition, she continued to work to keep our family together.

During a very difficult time when my Dad's drinking became too much to handle, she separated from him, becoming a single mother of four children under 13. She worked in the anti-poverty program in South Boston and wrote a weekly column for the South Boston Tribune. She also wrote for the "Confidential Chat" column in the Boston Globe. (The "Chat" as it was called was much like a blog, today, only they printed out the posts in the newspaper! Imagine! Oh, and yes, this was before computers.) Her nom de plume was "A Twinkle in Her Eye."

Gratefully, Daddy stopped drinking which brought our family back together. His love for her was obvious. He would put up with the most outrageous behavior! When she was very sick and her usual positive mood slipped, he would simply turn his hearing aid off and continue to give her the love and attention he always gave. They were, for all their turmoil, true sweethearts.

Which brings me back to the twinkle in her eye. Daddy always said that he loved Momma for the twinkle in her eye. She would giggle as he stooped to kiss her head.

Funny, I knew when she was really, really sick because her twinkle was not so bright. However, no matter what the doctors said, no matter how sick she appeared, she always found the strength to get back up and continue down Life's Path. Her tenacity became legendary!

Perhaps this is why, after 45 years of "preparation," I am not saddened by the death of this dear woman.

You know what I think? I think that her ship came in! Daddy was a sailor, after all. I think he found his way to her port and whisked her away to the stars. How could I be sad?

Look! Third star to the right and straight ahead to morning...you can see them dancing arm and arm.


Comments

Taylor said…
May her soul rest in peace. The day will come when I too have to lose my ma. I cherish her much.
Linda said…
Thank you, Taylor. Your kind thoughts are so appreciated.

Blessings, Linda
Miruh said…
Hello Linda,

Thanks for sharing your mother's life story. She was a special soul!
Your sharing helps us to heal too; our culture does not have many good models for how to be in these times of transition. Thank you!

May you be comforted in the grace of love.
River Studios said…
Another beautiful piece and tribute to life and your mother...though, mainly I wanted to say, I remember growing up reading the multitude of entries in the Boston Globe's "Confidential Chat"!
I was always intrigued with the creative names and who might live behind them! Love your comparison of "Chatters" to bloggers - so true!!

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