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Mother’s Day Memories

May 8, 2016

richards mom2
Here are some photographs of my mother, Margaret, between 1959 and 1991. She was a very strong, liberal, and independent woman. A Massachusetts Democrat. Outspoken. A Union member. A real-life Norma Rae or Maude. Ahead of her time.

My mother was a great woman who had a difficult childhood because Margaret’s father died in 1924 at the age of 28 when she was only 4. Before her father became too ill from what was probably diabetes, he drove the family to Florida during the last few months of his life: Driving from Boston to Lake Okeechobee and back must have been a fun adventure in 1924! Margaret was an only child and was raised by a single parent. The statuesque Margaret married the love of her life in 1938 and that union produced three children. However, before the youngest was a teenager, their young father died, leaving Margaret to become a second-generation single mother. Margaret was very talented and skilled with a Singer sewing machine and she would make beautiful clothing for both men and women, thereby supplementing the income she earned at the textile mills. The money was needed to support her family of four. Margaret certainly made stylish dresses for herself and children (even her daughter’s wedding gown) and was a remarkable cook, gardener, best friend to a few, and regular beachgoer. In the late 50’s my parents married and Margaret finished her three decades (30’s, 40’s, & 60’s) of childbirth. However, shortly thereafter, Margaret returned to the single mother role…a successful role, once again.

Margaret worked hard to support her family of two. Relatives thought that I just might not make it to age six because of high tension levels between mother and son-all unsubstantiated, I say. It was very difficult for Margaret to work in the un-air-conditioned mills and to deal with the ‘change’ – I know first hand that her hot flashes seemed to last most of my adolescence…they were real and they occurred often, and they created a lot of tension. In the late 70’s Margaret’s diabetes and other medical issues allowed her to retire early and to let her begin to regain her strength.richards mom

Margaret had four children; eleven grandchildren (many more great and great-great since her passing and her 12th grandchild was born in 1997) and everybody always included her with the family events and trips to Cape Cod. By 1984 or so Margaret moved into Elderly Housing in her hometown and that marked the first time she lived alone. Margaret enjoyed life there as it was convenient and she learned whom to avoid but befriended the good neighbors. We lost our mother in July 1991. She was 71 and I was only 29. RIP Margaret Rosanna. We miss you.

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