Two Strong Women

My mom. Snake’s mom. They were both strong but I’m not sure if they could have found another way to be different if they tried.

My mom was raised on a farm and got married as soon as she graduated from high school. Her husband was a contractor and they built their own house and had two boys. He was also an alcoholic who hit her once. She picked up the two boys, left and never looked back.

She was lucky to have family to help care for the boys while she worked night shifts and multiple jobs to feed them. Her husband never contributed a dime to child support and finally divorced her because he wanted to marry again. My grandfather was appalled that my mother got a divorce; she was the first one in the family. But my mom was strong and fought back and made a new life for herself and the boys.

She met my father when they were both in their late 20s. His mother had been trying to set him up with good Catholic girls for a long time, but he had been waiting for my mom. They married, he adopted the boys and I came along a year later.

My mom was everyone’s mom. My house was the one where everything happened because she was amazing. She figured out living overseas when my dad had assignments and she was the love of my father’s life. She was open and honest and strong and loving.

She also smoked her whole life, which unfortunately, cut her life short. But the life she lived was to the limit. No one ever questioned who she was or what she stood for.

Snake’s mom and I had an uneasy and unsettled start. She was in charge at the house. She also had no idea what to do with this girl who showed up in her son’s life and had few filters for her opinions.

His mom followed his dad from base to base from the time they got married. She was the extrovert to beat all extroverts. She was always involved in the community and in the lives of her kids.

She was a strong feminist and instilled that respect in her family. She was weirdly prudish and I still remember her changing the channel if any feminine hygiene product ads or sexual innuendo was on the TV. We flustered her by holding hands.

She had a hard time letting go of being in charge of Snake. She wanted us to flow into the family that she had created and y’all know me. I don’t flow well into that. There was a lot of head butting over holidays and giblets and presents and more.

But, by the end, I’m pretty sure that she came to respect and love me, as much as I came to love and respect her.

Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all of the awesome moms out there. You matter!

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