The Woman Inside

in palnet •  2 months ago  (edited)

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I'd find her early mornings in the kitchen seated at the breakfast nook my father built. Her coffee hot, a cigarette in the ash tray and a book open in early light.

Mom taught without words the value of the written word and brought home stacks of books from the public library for herself and an equally large stack for my little sister. She never went on to college but graduated high school at the tender age of 14.

Those were the one room schoolhouse days and because she excelled she was pushed through the grades. As a result she was picked on and segregated both by age and the jealousy of her older peers.

Mom never faltered in her love of learning and wrote often to all of her family. Her favorite time of day was the delivery of post. She read the letters over and over and then carefully responded to each letter with bits of news and comfort or advice. Her family was scattered throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio, her brother moved away and I can't recall where to.

The tie that bound them of kinship and the love of words lives on although most have passed on, including her. I wish I could go back as an adult and have a conversation over coffee in our kitchen rather than viewing her as a mysterious woman who sat quietly for hours absorbing books, coffee and cigarettes. Her lessons carry me forward and as I age I feel a transformation so similar to my mother.

This is my five minute freewrite using prompt kitchen
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Excellent -- I would have loved your mom!

Thank you @deeannmathews, she'd have loved you, too.

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I love this. Gave me chills. Yes, another conversation with our departed mothers, now that we are of an age to better understand them.
I remember one of the last times I was with my mom I looked up and was suddenly inspired to say "all of a sudden you don't seem that much older than me." I miss her so much today.

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Thank you @owasco. Mom couldn't reconcile her demons and left way too soon of her own hand. I missed out on many meaningful exchanges and wish we could have talked her away from that decision, but she was a deep and beautiful soul who gave me a great deal of love.

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Oh! That helps me understand more of what you wrote about her, about her distance, which confused me. I can't imagine losing a deep and beautiful soul who loved me and I them. Freewrites can be very personal, and I have several times wondered if I should publish those. I am happy you chose to publish this.

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I also wish you were able to have the adult conversation with your mom. So sorry you missed out on that. : (