My mum would have been 98 on Sunday. It’s hard to believe that she’s been gone for ten years now! She was born fifty years too soon. You’ll understand why, in a minute;) She became a nurse, and was an officer in the army, during world war II. Nursing was one of the few professions open to women.
Had she been born later, I suspect she would have gone to MIT, and become a brilliant engineer. She always had an incredible knack for figuring things out and coming up with ideas. On top of her education, she was amazingly self-taught. She knew how to do wiring, basic plumbing, tile work, and took several auto-mechanic courses through continuing education. I remember that day, when she said she was tired of our mechanic (Bob Mortenson) treating her like she didn’t know what she was talking about! She had a whole set of tools, a creeper-dolly and no fear of getting greasy-dirty! Rock on, mom!
Growing up, it never occurred to me how unusual this was. As the youngest of four children, I probably saw more of this than my siblings. And I grew up with “go look it up,” whenever I was asking questions. side-note, had I known the internet would become a push-button for all information, I probably would NOT have earmarked the encyclopedias as “mine” (someday claims when we were young– and evidently, not psychic!:)
But from that, I probably gained my resilience and the ability to leap into new endeavours. From training dogs and horses, to sales-marketing, having an armor-weaponsmith business with the EX (another long and murky story), to getting a masters degree in education. And now, writing. I have never taken any life-setback as a defeat. Only as the need to redirect and regroup.
I have always loved reading and almost always wanted to write. So now, many years later, I have come back to that starting point, but richer for the journey. I know I have my mother to thank for that, who always tried to support her emotional-creative black-sheep child:)
I picked up the little azalea bush, as a memento to the ones we had in front of the house where we all grew up. The alternative was getting a red delicious apple tree, because that was her favorite apple. Unfortunately, as much as I revere my mum and hope she has found a happy afterlife… that was one thing I could not bring myself to do:)
One thing this has made me do, is decide I need to create a real kick-ass mom for my story. I just don’t know who that might be—– yet!