A life time ago. Thirty-seven years ago today to be exact, we buried Mom. She just 43. We buried her in her favorite blue dress and held a red rose. Just like she informed me, while she drove me to school one morning. Maybe Mom always knew she wouldn’t see me grown. I thought we’d have a long life together too. Sure, she could spank in a heartbeat, yet she loved on me just as quick.
Their fifth try at a baby. The other four were stillborn. I was there last chance. My dad said they seem to know I would have some kind of malformation. Which wound up being born with microtia—without an ear. My left one. Everything I’ve read, microtia seems to me on the right side. Ha! Even then I dared to be different.
Also as I read, I believe my mom took thalidomide during her pregnancy. It was wide spread in the 50’s and the 60’s to ease discomforts of early pregnancy. With Mom's health concerns, I don’t doubt she took it. However things changed when birth abnormalities were documented worldwide. Babies had malformed arms, legs which were short, misshapen or absent. Effects also included eyes, face, heart and ears. I have no proof, just my gut feeling.
Today, on this day of her funeral, I heard my Aunt Mae, my mom’s oldest sister, tell Dad I should wear another dress. Why? Because the one I had on was too ‘loud’. It was blue with a floral pattern. I wore a white shawl with it. Dad took my aunt’s advice and hinted maybe I should wear something else. My response? “No. Mom made it.” That ended that. Dad always said I did what I wanted to do.
37 years years ago I saw my mom for the last time. As if she slept.
A lifetime ago.