If you don't know me, or haven't read my other posts, you may not know that I lost my mother shortly after I turned seven. I don't have a great number of memories from my early childhood. I think sometimes the brain blocks things out in order to protect itself. Unfortunately for me, not only has my brain hidden away a lot of the bad things, it has also kept me from remembering most of the good ones, too. But I do remember some things about my Mama.
I remember something that happened when I was four years old. The television was on and there was some sort of parade going on. All the people were wearing black. There was a horse that had no rider, but had boots in his stirrups. Mama was crying, and crying hard. I don't think I had ever seen her cry before, so I was very upset and worried. I ran to her and asked why she was crying. She simply said, "A very good man died." It wasn't until years later that I realized she was talking about President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Although it is a sad memory, it is also very precious to me. It showed a depth of emotion and a connection that I couldn't appreciate until I was older.
At some point, I received a gift of a Mister Potato Head. Mister Potato Head was really cool! He had a plastic body and parts that could be attached to make various faces and so forth. Having seen commercials in which kids were using their parts on real potatoes, I thought, why not? I ran excitedly into the kitchen and asked Mama for a potato to play with. Well, let me tell you, that went over like a lead balloon. Mama angrily informed me that in this house food was for eating and that we couldn't afford to use food to play with. Needless to say, I never asked that question again!
At the back of the house we lived in, there was sort of a utility area that was walled and roofed. In it was Mama's washing machine. It had a cork in the bottom and a wringer at the top. Mama would wash the clothes, wring them out, and put them in a bathtub full of rinse water while she washed more clothes. There was an alley behind the house, and from time to time a horse-drawn wagon might travel through. They might be selling fruit or buying things. One day a man on one of theses wagons saw my Mama's washing machine through the open back door. Seeing me in the yard, he said to ask my mother if she wanted to sell the machine. Well, I did, and Mama was furious! She started yelling in Hungarian that it was a perfectly good washing machine and she sure wasn't going to sell it to any junk man! I didn't have to translate this for him. As soon as he heard her tone, he and his horse went on their way. And I'm pretty sure he never stopped by our house again!
There are some other memories as well. Maybe I will share them at some other time. I just want to remind you how important these little moments are. Try to remember them. Some day they will be all we all that we have left.
In honor of my mother...