Sunday, May 08, 2011

Missing My Mother On Mother's Day

On Facebook this week, many people put their mother's photo up for their avatar to honor their mothers. This is the photo of my mother that I put up. It was always my favorite of her. She was the third child and third daughter of my grandparents. The three girls, Frances, Edna and Hazel were very close. My grandmother had another daughter, Emily, who died as an infant and was the fourth child. Then the first son, Floyd was born.

Frances, Edna, Hazel & Floyd Neer

My mother always told me about their life and I envied it. They didn't have a lot, but they were close. My grandmother made sure they had a roof over their heads, food to eat and clothes. She was a very hard worker and my grandfather was not an easy man to have for a husband. He would leave for periods of time. I have no memory of him at all. This is because I never met him, unless I saw him when I was a very little baby. My grandmother was separated from him. She would not divorce him due to her strict Catholic beliefs.

Floyd & Hazel Neer

She had two more children after that, George Jr. and Lorraine. The others though were older when they were born. My mother said a lady at the church had asked her when her mother was going to have her baby. She told her, "My mother is not having a baby." Then she was cleaning in their good parlor, and opened a trunk that was kept in there. It was full of new baby clothes! She never mentioned it to my grandmother. Not even a month after that, Aunt Lorraine was born.

Hazel Neer, My Mom

We were always close to her family and saw them often except for the years that we lived in Florida. Aunt Edna and her husband, Uncle Eddie, and their family lived in North Tonawanda, near Buffalo. So we didn't see them very much. Aunt Frances worked her whole life so we didn't see her and her family very often either.

Hazel & Edna Neer, 1941
Mom and I used to go visit her brother, Uncle Floyd, his wife, Aunt Gerry and their family on Sundays often. We would bring all the kids candy because my father had a gas station and sold candy. So we had a good supply! I loved to go to their house because they had a big family and there was always a lot to do there. I especially liked to see Prancer, my cousin, Judy's horse. Aunt Gerry was like a sister to my mother. She still to this day, checks on my father as they don't live very far apart.

Michael Dran & Hazel Neer, 1941

I was luckier than some people to have my mother and father for my parents. They were wonderful to my brother, Mickey and I. We did a lot of things as a family that are some of my favorite memories. They got married in 1942, while my father was in the Army and stationed in Orlando, FL. That was the time my father loved best. He talks about it all the time.

Hazel Neer Dran, 1942  
Mom passed away in 2002 and we still miss her so much. She was the glue that kept our family together. We have lost that closeness due to her being gone, and us all having drifted from that family center. I think that I miss the most, that special relationship, that exists between a mother and a daughter. It is like no other. If you still have your mother, don't spend all your time working and doing other things, when you can spend some extra time with her and your father. I did that myself. I was too busy at times and now regret it. The time we have with them is too short.

Wishing all mothers a very happy day today. If you aren't a mother for whatever reason, I hope you have a very happy day too. I know it can be difficult when everyone is celebrating a day that you seem to be not a part of. You don't have to give birth or have a mother that is wonderful, to celebrate. Just celebrate that all those mothers before us gave birth to some pretty awesome people in the past and present. Have a happy Sunday!

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
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