Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Freckles

Today my mother would be 73, had pancreatic cancer not taken her at the age of 56. I was 38 when she passed away. Fifty-six does not seem so old to me, now that it is only a few years away. In fact, it seems very young.

My mother had freckles all of her life. The few childhood photos of her I have seen show freckles that stand out even in black and white pictures. I know she disliked those freckles and she quickly learned how to cover them with foundation and make-up so that they were barely visible. She seldom, if ever, went out with her make-up.

She told me once that when she was about five years old, someone told her that she could rid herself of the hated freckles by washing her face in morning dew. So that summer, every morning she rose before everyone else and slipped outside so she could wet her hands with dew and then rub her face with the moisture.

Weeks passed, and she anxiously peered in the mirror daily to see if the freckles were diminishing. Her determination must have been fierce, because she kept at it every day.

Then her mother caught her one morning as she stood outside in her little nightgown, scrubbing her face with dew.

"I am getting rid of my freckles," she said. (Well, I don't know exactly what passed between them, of course, but I could hear my mother making such a pronouncement.)

My grandmother would have laughed and told her she was being silly. "You can't get rid of freckles," she would have said. "Stop coming outside in your nightie."

I presume my mother was crestfallen at the prospect of never ridding herself of her freckles. But the thought of her rushing out every morning to wash her face in dew makes me smile at her innocence and hope.

She really was still a child when I was born, as she was only 18 (she turned 19 the same month). When I think about how I was at 18, I suspect the prospect of raising a child must have been terrifying, with or without freckles.

I don't know what she would have been like now at the age of 73. I do know, though, that she would still be applying make-up everyday, to ensure that those freckles, even dimmed by age, were hidden.

3 comments:

  1. What a lovely remeberence! For her to have been such a young mother; she did a wonderful job raising you and your brother. You both are wonderful people. I'm sure she loved you both very much and life is very bittersweet living only with memories for so long.

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  2. I'm sure even at 73, she would still be wearing her Beehive hair, spackle that make up on with the concrete trowel and be the same sweet Mom she always was. I miss picking up her phone and the receiver being so caked with makeup that you couldn't see the speaker holes!!!Lol!!!

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  3. i really enjoyed this post anita!

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