My mom would be 86 years old today. Sad, she died 20 years ago at the very young age of 66. And it was an ugly death from cancer of the lining of the lung.
They said it was caused by cleaning fluids. I can see that. Mom cleaned constantly and she was good at it. The smell in our house though – especially when she would use this weird spray can of foamy Mr. Wally to clean the walls. I have never cleaned a wall in my life – at least I can’t remember doing it.
It will come as no surprise to you that I resist cleaning as much as possible and I only use ecologically sound cleaners. I hate the smell of bleach – a constant in my growing-up home and the smell of Lysol or Pine-Sol makes me weak. So I don’t clean a lot ……… Mom is my excuse and she would frown at my less than sparkling home. She would have to get over it though.
We had so much fun, Mom and I, until I turned 17 and she saw me slipping into another life, one that she didn’t have. She married at the age of 16 – way too young for anyone to be married. She never had a chance of a career or a job even or testing her wings without a domineering male presence, first her father and then mine.
Although my dad wasn’t a harsh man at all, having children at 17 and 22 meant that Mom couldn’t do things other 17 and 22 year olds were doing. And she was unhappy about it – especially as she got older. She didn’t like it when I got a job at 16 and she hated me having a license so I could drive myself to work and school. Things got worse when I went to college, although I know she missed me, she didn’t want me to be so far away. I rather made a bad show of college the first time and by the time I got around to graduating – some 18 years after I started – Mom was over the fact that I was to be the first college-educated member of our family.
So Happy Birthday Mom – I hope Dad got you a nice present! Tell him hi for me ……….