I love my mom.
I learned so much from her, but there were certain things she couldn't teach me. For those things, I had to rely on others. My teachers, first and foremost, taught me the things in school that got me through it. Outside of the Daisy Gets Her Period thing, all the rest was academic. And Mom had already taught me those details.
But there were scout leaders, who were kind and did all the scout things...what I remember most was how to set a table and how not to enjoy sleeping in the woods with 20 other "girls".
And then there was Marge. The lady in the first photo was my best friend's mother. I spent a great deal of time within her sphere and am grateful for it.
Margie was more worldly than my own mother, or at least she appeared to be.
She had a rough, smoker's voice and a huge heart. She confided in me simple things, her thoughts, her observations on life, her dislikes and likes. Sometimes, she even admitted to her fears, though they were few.
She loved her kids and her husband, but she also loved herself. Her confidence was mindboggling. When she walked into a room, you actually felt her presence and that was just the way she wanted it. Her penchant for wearing red and black clothing, her height aided by the highest heels available...her silver hair piled high atop her head...she was quite impressive and she knew it.
And she used it.
I think people were cowed by her mere presence. She exuded confidence. No one intimidated her. She took charge.
This is what she passed on to me. Margie never hid her light under any bushel.
But she was plagued with illness...and from the operations and the horrible results from them, she lost her grip on her mighty self. While it is easy to see how she self-medicated the pain and the unhappiness, it is just as much a great shame that she could no longer be the woman she had once been.
It hurt us all to witness her decline. There were times when the old Margie would come back, but the shadow of long suppressed fears and the pain pills and alcohol took their toll. Her world became clouded and eventually, she lost the fight she once had.
She died an ugly death, by herself in the family home, found by her husband and a stranger. (But that's another ugly story.)
Thank you, Margie, for all you gave me and all you taught me. You were a terrific second mother to me and I will never forget you.
I hope you are at peace.