No one else asked me

My mother was a deputy matron at 19 at the local nursery school. It was during the war, ie 1940s.

The local nursery was so local that it was literally at the bottom of the garden of her parents’ home. I can still remember it now. It was white, single storey, with red paintwork and trimmings. Beyond the nursery was the park. To reach both, one walked out of the wicket gate from the front garden, and turned immediately left down an unmade track towards the park. On the other side of the track was the large vicarage.

My mother was brought up in a council house. In fact, it was regarded as desirable. Relatively new, ‘The Crescent’ as it was popularly known, was the height of aspiration for working class people who could never dream of owning their own homes. My grandfather kept bantams, and during the war, the kids at the nursery got real eggs courtesy of the deputy matron’s father.

My father lived in a one-down, two up, toilet out the back, privately rented terraced house. Contrast this with the standard of affluence of my mother’s childhood home, three bedrooms, indoor bathroom with toilet, oak staircase, gardens front and rear, not just one but two sitting rooms. OK, one was the never used parlour, and the other was the main room complete with coal-fired range. A true living room.

Mum’s old house. Looked better before. And, what happened to the laburnum tree?

Not dad’s, but same terrace, I think. Except three bedrooms? Not in a million years.

Both families brought up four children. Both men (my two grandfathers) were engineers. How come such disparity? Luck of the draw?

My parents were both bright and went to the local single sex grammar schools. My grandmother objected to my mother going, as mum’s role was to be a domestic slave. Something that never really left her psyche. She was totally imbued with the idea of getting married and being the perfect homemaker. But my grandfather and her older brother stood up for her and off to the grammar school she went. Only to be pulled out at the earliest possible school leaving age, 14 back then I think. My dad stayed at school long enough to matriculate, his main gripe was not being able to play cricket on Saturday because he had to work on the market stall. Many years later on, I couldn’t be a ball boy (as was) at tennis matches on Saturdays because … I had to work on the market stall.

Yet, despite my mother’s failure to complete her education (washing and ironing and cooking being so much more important), she managed to get some decent jobs. Many years ago, and well before my time, WH Smiths lent out books and my mother worked there as a librarian. It sounded like another world even as she was telling me. Smiths was where I went to listen to free records under the pretext of buying them, or read magazines that told you about sex.

Not the place where one got preferential library tickets. A ‘pref’ ticket was apparently a paid for subscription where one got new books to read. Unsullied by anyone else’s dirty little hands. Yesterday’s Kindle Unlimited?

My mother loved books and loved reading. Many of my old leather-bound classics come from her small book collection. When I went with her to the library, she would spend ages choosing the four books. When I went with my dad, he would just grab the first four that looked readable.

But her heart lay with children. When she started going out with my dad, the war was over and she was working in a different school in a run-down Irish immigrant area. Many years later I worked there too. By that time it was still a run-down immigrant area, just the Irish ones had changed to Pakistani. Even now, the areas where my parents and I grew up and worked are classified in the top (or lowest) ten per centile of deprived areas in the UK.

Mum had an older teacher as a mentor. Miss Brooke taught her how to complete cryptic crosswords during their breaks. Miss Brooke encouraged my mother to go for formal accreditation as a teacher. She never did.

When my mum got married, the children of these poor working class families scraped together enough pennies to buy her six crystal glasses. They sat proudly in her corner cabinet, long after she’d given up her job, a testimony to the love and affection of those years working with poor children. Until the day my dad’s niece was babysitting for me with her boyfriend and knocked into the cupboard. Only one glass remained. And, yes, I still have it.

My dad didn’t want children. My mother did. My dad came from a Methodist family. My mother’s was Church of England. My dad’s family was politically liberal. My mother’s was conservative. My dad’s mother was divorced. My mother’s parents were together until my grandfather died. My grandmother was renowned as a great cook, my nana (on my dad’s side) was not. My mother liked opera. My father liked Stranger in Paradise but had never heard of Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances.

Chalk and cheese.

Fast forward to my mother’s last years and we were discussing life, as you do. I asked her what she’d most enjoyed, and she said unhesitatingly that it had been working with the rough poor Irish immigrant kids in Batley Carr. She could still remember the names of some of them, and felt it was such a shame that bright kids were so disadvantaged.

And yet, she gave up that job. Why? Because my dad was working at the power station, started early, finished early, and didn’t like coming home to an empty house. Bye bye career, independent work, and all that. Hello, subservient slave. At this point I’d been married for more than 25 years, but it struck me as so sad that a woman gave up a potential career that she loved because a man couldn’t handle coming home without the welcoming little woman.

She’d always asked me why I got married. I’m not religious and I’ve never wanted children. To her it didn’t compute. Although she wouldn’t have been happy about me living with someone either. And she didn’t like me retaining my birthname rather than becoming Mrs Husband’s Last Name. She would always address letters to us by our first names, as though the whole postal service would sit in judgement if they saw two different surnames together.

And she died without me answering her question. Hell. I don’t know why I got married. I just did.

But I asked her why she married my dad.

‘No one else asked me.’

For those of you who don’t read my not-a-photo-blog, here’s my mother. She’s the one in black.

My mother

My mother

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About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
This entry was posted in family, feminism, life, Longreads, love, parents, WPlongform. Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to No one else asked me

  1. makagutu says:

    Kate, wow, this is beautifully written, not that there are those that I don’t like.
    At the end, the question your mom asked you is one that I am really interested in getting an answer for. People interest me and why they do certain things interest me more than anything else.
    Good picture.

    Like

    • Thanks Mak. I suppose the spate of fem posts reminded me of this conversation and, what had happened before. At least she had an answer. I do not to this day know why I got married.

      Not my picture. I suspect I may have been four years old and tucked up in bed with grandma babysitting.

      Like

      • makagutu says:

        If you allow me, since you don’t know why you got married, would you get married again if you were able to reverse time?

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        • Yup. For the tax breaks.

          Like

          • makagutu says:

            I like that. Thanks Kate and have a pleasant afternoon

            Like

          • My commitment as a person doesn’t change with or without marriage. I stick to my word. But if there are financial advantages, why not? Look at Pink marrying his partner. It’s no different. And, that is one reason why I totally oppose the anti-gay marriage sect. Why discriminate against someone like that? If I can get tax breaks, so should every other person, regardless of sexual preference.

            It’s raining. Not that I’m going anywhere.

            Liked by 2 people

          • makagutu says:

            Kate, I tell people, my word is my bond, if I can’t keep to it, then no amount of oath taking will improve it. It seems you and I are in agreement on that point.
            I agree with the rest of this comment

            Liked by 1 person

  2. violetwisp says:

    Yep, different times. Hopefully that doesn’t happen so often now, although I’m sure it does. I think it’s easier for women to get back into the job market anyway these days, there’s lots more flexibility. I got married for papers. You should have seen how both sides of the family took that news – we did emphasise it was a love marriage for papers, but it didn’t really compute.

    Like

    • I think it does. Although I know of far more sensible relationships where people work round each other depending on income and hours, child care being the classic. Men no longer feel embarrassed to say they are looking after their children.

      Try getting back into the job market when you’re older. That’s a treat in store.

      Got to be pragmatic, and when you need papers or they are advantageous, why not? I never realised how useful it was to be married in the eyes of the law.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It still sucks being a woman, but there’s no other time in history I’d want to be alive. My biological dad did the same thing with my mom. She got a two year degree (very unusual for her generation) but he wanted her home. She got married way too young (almost 18 wasn’t too young then), and had me way too young, 10 months later). She told me that in her generation, if you weren’t married by 19 or 20 you were considered an old maid. She was a good, obedient, submissive, Catholic girl. Her saving grace was when she divorced my dad 11 years later.

    I’ve been married twice. As you know, my first husband passed away, and I divorced my second husband after 9 years of marriage because he ultimately wanted a mother and housekeeper more than a lover and best friend. The typical marriage is not for me and I choose to remain happily single. Most guys in America still have this belief that women were made for them. Marriage was exhausting. No thank you.

    Loved your post, looking at the houses, and the picture of your mum.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I don’t know. Early twenties, days of serious feminism? Preferably wealthy though to be able to campaign.

      I got the on the shelf/old maid thing dinned into me. My mother was 26 when she got married. Def on the shelf back then. Both my grandmothers were married young because they were pregnant. Generational customs and practices are fascinating to me.

      What’s a typical marriage? Ours is one based on friendship + sexual attraction + mutual interests and common goals. Works for us.

      We’ve agreed (sort of) if we separate that we will share equally although natch I want more than half. And that we won’t divorce because there is no need and neither of us envisages remarrying. Once is enough.

      Can’t comment on American men. Steve (USA) at university wanted me to go visit his family and I nearly freaked. He was probably nice but we hadn’t even been out together when he mentioned that!

      Thank you. I added the house links, because looking at American blogs, y’all have very different homes. I added my mum because I thought she was such a classic case of wasted potential.

      Like

  4. davidprosser says:

    My, you bring back memories of the 11 plus and of single sex grammar schools. Such a different life it was back then. So many stay at home mothers and so many bigger families too. Sometimes though when Mum had to work there would be a Nanna or a grandma to look after the children.

    You reminisce so well Kate and don’t make the time sound like one we should be glad to see gone despite the obvious poverty. Good, because despite the fact we didn’t have the computers and other aids we have now, in some ways our connections to people were much more solid then.
    Yes, grandmothers may not understand living together and keeping your own surname but at least they were much more around than sometimes today.We are much more fragmented as a society than back then.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t do the 11+. Our school had an entrance exam. Posh.

      My grandma was always there. I would go to cuddle in bed with her when my parents had gone to work.

      I think memories are interesting (couldn’t spell the rem word). I enjoy reading others, and thinking, yes, I remember that.

      I don’t know that there was poverty. Yes life was hand to mouth, but I don’t know that people felt deprived.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ruth says:

    Such a lovely post, Kate. I love hearing the realness. Op-eds are nice, but I’m draw to the personal. For me learning lessons becomes personal. I don’t know how to make life lessons separate from people. It’s just not possible in my mind.

    It is such a shame that your mother gave up on a career she loved. The line that stuck out to me was when you asked her why she married your dad and she said, “No one else asked me.” I’m not sure if you meant it this way, and I’m sure she loved your dad, but it makes me think she settled. Settled for a bird in the hand, so to speak. She was a very lovely woman.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Ruth. I think any good piece of writing needs to mix sources these days. So, this was a little of everything. I do think personal experiences add value. After all, they are primary sources.

      I was sad too that she gave up her career. Not one that I would have chosen, but when we talked about it, her expression so changed. So gentle, so loving, still remembering Mick from more than 50 years ago.

      I’ll never know. She gave me that one answer and it’s all I have. Did she settle? Maybe. Not a bad choice, but after talking, maybe she had no choice.

      Perhaps she was me in a different era.

      Like

  6. My heart broke when I read this.

    Stuff like this still happens where I live. Little girls going to school only because the state requires them to. There was a saying that went around in my undergrad school: women come here to get their “M-R-S” degrees; it was referring to the high number of women that stopped attending as soon as they got engaged or married. Some women I attended classes with openly admitted that they were looking for husbands. My best friend’s first marriage was to a woman who was like that. She dropped out of school as soon as the ring got on her finger.

    Tax breaks aren’t the only benefit of marriage. A few months back, I told my older brother that he should talk about marriage with his girlfriend. It wasn’t about the tax breaks or other stuff that I mentioned it to him. There are other rights associated with marriage (at least in the U.S.) like making medical decisions and other things if a spouse is incapacitated. His girlfriend knows him better than I do (I hope), and so I’d want her making important decisions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • l’ll be honest. When I finished writing it I cried. I cried because she gave up something she loved. Because she had such a generous heart. Because she always gave and never took.

      As for the degree thing, it wasn’t explicit when I went to university. But yeah some women were hunting. It wasn’t me. I could probably have done it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sonel says:

    I just love reading your posts Kate. Always so well written and I can take in every word. It’s like I’m watching a movie. 😆

    What a beautiful mother you had! She had a gorgeous smile. I think you look like her. 😀

    It’s always sad to hear about cases like this, but in the end some women do what they think is right for them and their marriage and had their own beliefs. Definitely not what we would do today. She sounded like an amazing lady. My grandmother was like that. My grandfather was very strict but he gave her everything she wanted. She loved sewing and he bought her her own shop. I think that is why I love the smell of new fabrics so much still, but when I look back, I can see she gave up a lot to make him happy as well. We do that for our loved ones. I know I will give my life for my hubby and sons, but they also won’t ever stop me from doing what I want to do. 😀 ♥

    Like

    • Thank you Sonel. I love reading your comments too as you are always so generous 🙂

      I didn’t realise she had a toothpaste smile until I looked at this pic for this post. When I was a kid, I was meant to look like my dad (same eyes) but growing older more people told me I was looking like my mum. Hell, who cares, can’t change how I look, or rather, surgery isn’t an option 😀

      Of course all women should be able to do what they want, and that is one of the points of this post. Not allowed to stay at school, pulled out on numerous occasions anyway to help at home because it was seen to be of no value educating a woman. Having said that even 20+ years ago my partner’s sister and her husband automatically paid for their son’s education but ummed and ahed about their daughter’s.

      Both my great-grandfathers were tailors. Not that I ever met them. I’ve still got a clothes brush from each of their businesses. Bristles are falling out though 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sonel says:

        Thanks Kate. I do try – especially on the days that I can concentrate and not when only 1 braincell is working. 😆

        She’s got a great smile and I agree. Who cares? 😀

        I totally agree and you’ve made a great point here. It’s like some religions as well – where women should listen to the husband and be seen and not heard. I can’t stand that and always wonder how the hell they can. I would have raised hell. 😆

        I can’t see what is so ‘value educating’ being at home and learning how to bake, cook or clean. Yes, it does teach you to do things for yourself and my sons and husband can do that as well. I’m the manager here. I delegate. hahahaha!

        I think that’s unfair. The daughter had every right as well.

        That’s so awesome. I never really had the patience for something like that. The minute I cut the pattern out, I wanted to see the result immediately. LOL!

        That’s a pity and yes, I have an old, silver hairbrush my grandfather brought back from Germany and it’s doing the same. 😀

        Like

        • There are days when more than one brain cell works? Tell me how to do that, please 🙂

          I loved it when my mum got dressed up to go out. It was so exciting. I ended up with her black georgette dress. Never wore it though. It was stunning, but it was her, and not me. She had the dark hair, the strong features and the smile. I’ve got the earrings though! And the shoulders too.

          This whole issue is about a lack of equality in a partnership. Each couple does what best suits, but to get there in the first place both individuals need an education and a sense of self-direction. Everyone should learn how to cook and to clean. He knew how to roast chicken. I didn’t. He bought chump steak thinking it was cheap rump so I rescued it and made a casserole … He made roast pork for my mum and dad and I, when we had been out to work together. Housework and cooking should be shared according to skill, time, and other commitments. But it’s nobody’s duty.

          And that’s another story. She did get her education and died after an epileptic fit in her 20s.

          I had a major period of dressmaking. I’ve still got some unfinished clothes and fabric and a broken machine 😦 I moved onto curtains. I ended up with a few made by hand. I loved making curtains.

          I must do a tailoring post, need the photos though …

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sonel says:

            hahahaha! It just happens and don’t ask me how. If I knew, I would be able to comment every day and on every blog and even join into those intellectual conversations. LOL! But I promise, if I do find out one day, I will let you know for sure! hahahaha!

            I totally agree and in this day and age, especially men. I’ve seen some young women who doesn’t want to do that. They’re looking for young, rich men who can give them a big house, grand car and cleaning services. In today’s economy it’s not always possible. 😀

            I love roast chicken and pork. Now you’re making me hungry and make me feel bad about it because you’re vegan. Shame on you! LOL!

            You said it. It is nobody’s duty and I love doing my housework but as I always tell them – I am not their maid and if I’ve already cleaned and they go and mess, it’s their responsibility to clean it up. Even as toddlers the boys knew they had to pick up their toys behind them. It was always a fun game between us and it worked. 😀 Even Simba would pick up his toys and put it back in his basket when I asked him to. 😀

            That is very sad to hear Kate. It’s a pity they didn’t know more about epilepsy in those days. 😦

            The same here but not dresses. Mostly pants for myself and track suits for hubby and the boys. Can you believe that I even knitted? hahahah! Hubby still have a pull-over I knitted for him and he loves wearing it in the winter. The boys though were never crazy about jerseys. They preferred the track suits and jackets.

            Yes, unfortunately my machine broke as well and I would love to see that curtains. I don’t have the patience for that though. I think a tailoring post would be awesome. Go and get those photos please. 😆

            Like

          • I always find intellectual,conversations slightly pretentious. Just my view but after two degrees and pressured jobs it’s nice to be simple.

            Trouble is, while some parts of society emphasise equality and sharing partnerships, others, (eg loopy fundies) are obsessed with creating this myth of a woman’s role is to be a perfect submissive homekeeper aka domestic slave. If some women want to do that, and they find a selfish man who wants that, then that’s two other peoples’ lives that aren’t messed up. But I’d like to think men and women are making informed choices when they decide to go for that sort of relationship.

            Never mind training the men. How did you get Simba to tidy his toys? 😀

            I made power suits for work 💼 and casual/dressy clothes too 👖👗👚 I used to knit as well. Gave most of my pullovers away. Got a few left. Better make one a dressmaking post and one a knitting one! Partner’s taken to wearing one I made years n years ago for my dad.

            I think there is a curtain sewing post on Roughseas. I’ll find it.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Loved this comment, Kate. I used to sew a lot — crocheted, cross stitched and knitted, too. My Nana, my mother’s mom, owned a dress shop in Washington, DC. She made all the dresses and was in demand, making dresses for the wives during congressional galas. When I was born, my dad was in the military, stationed out of the country, so my mom (and me) lived with my Nana in an apartment above the shop until I was a toddler.

            I look forward to your post.

            Like

          • Just lost a long reply. Boo:(

            I embroidered but never crocheted.

            Interesting how many of us had sewing ancestors.

            I added a couple of links to previous sewing posts on the reply to Sonel.

            Thanks 🙂

            Like

          • I saw them. You are quite talented.

            Like

          • Only quite? 😀

            I like being manually creative. And while I used to prefer making new clothes, I enjoyed patching and altering the trousers just as much when I did those a few years ago. More time, less money …

            Like

          • Sonel says:

            I should have said ‘intelligent’ conversations then. 😆 I am too blonde for the good intellectual conversations – sometimes I don’t understand a word of it and then I stop reading. haha!

            Some do indeed and maybe I’m wrong – or maybe it’s because I’m one of the stubborn kind of women – but I do think it’s because some women allows it. It comes down to choices for sure.

            Whahahah! Training men is easier than training dogs, believe me. Dogs observe all the time. As a baby he would see me pick up his toys and put it in the basket and he would then jump on the basked so everything would fall out again….and it became a game. When I would pick up a toy, he would take it from me, I take it back and throw it in the basket. Then it became a game of me taking his toy, he would take it and throw it in the basket and it became a routine for him. I also just said ‘basket’ and he would take the toy and put it in the basket. They’re so damn clever! 😀

            Awesome! I love power suits and used to wear only that when I worked. Love the emoticons you added. It’s so cute! 😀

            I love pullovers and jerseys but loooooong and loose ones, with ski pants, especially in the winter. Very cosy. 😀

            That would be lovely and very interesting to see and hear about your dressmaking, knitting and sewing years. 😀

            Like

  8. K. Q. Duane says:

    I’m sorry you think your mother’s life, as wife and mother, was such a waste.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      I am not sure that is anything close to what our lovely host said in this post. I am unable to find any reference to such a remark about her mother

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ruth says:

        I agree, Mak. I took nothing of that sort from this post. It is clear from this post that Kate admires and loves her mother – and her father for that matter. What I took from it is that she was sad to know that her mother sacrificed something that obviously brought her so much joy to please her husband when it might have been possible to be a wife and a mother without having to.

        Liked by 1 person

      • K. Q. Duane says:

        Read the post again

        Like

        • Ruth says:

          I’ve re-read it three times now. I still don’t see where she even implies that her mother’s life as a wife and mother were a waste.

          Like

          • K. Q. Duane says:

            You are reading it with feminist eyes. Here are multiple quotes that show author thought her mother’s life as wife and mother was a waste.
            First- “She was totally imbued with idea of getting married and being a perfect homemaker. But my grandfather and her brother, stood up for her”
            Next- “yet despite my mother’s failure to complete her education (washing ironing and cooking being so much more important)”
            Next- “and yet, she gave up that job. Bye-bye career, independent work plus all that”
            Next- “hello subservient slave. at this point, I’ve been married for more than 25 years, but it struck me as so sad that a woman gave up a potential career she is loved because a man couldn’t handle coming home without a welcoming woman.”

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Duane,
            #1 Reference is made to a time before she was a mother. Are you of the opinion that women should not be educated or pursue such ventures
            #2 how does that translate to not valuing her role as a mother and wife?
            #3 &4 Kate is writing about her mother quitting her job when they are already adults unless I misunderstood her completely.
            Just like Ruth, I think no such conclusion can be made from this post

            Like

          • As with Ruth’s comments, you have understood exactly what I was writing. Thank you Mak.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            You are most welcome

            Liked by 1 person

          • It is ironic of you to accuse Ruth of reading this post with feminist eyes when your erroneous interpretation is down to you reading it from your blinkered anti-feminist perspective.

            Just to be clear, nowhere do I state that I thought my mother’s life was a waste. In fact, I didn’t comment about her life as a wife and a mother, I said it was sad she gave up a potential career that she loved. Please do not extrapolate biased conclusions from my text of what you *think* I meant. Instead read the text as posted, which is what everyone else has done.

            What I was also writing about was the difference between then and now, which played a significant part in influencing my mother abandoning her career. Everyone else also seemed to understand this was important in the post.

            Finally, before you start on the second-wave RADICAL FEMINIST rant, as far as I know none of my readers can be classified as such, the majority of women and men who read my blogs are married, have children and/or want children, and work/have worked. Normal people, no less.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            I want to borrow feminists eyes. Do you know which shop has them on loan?
            We are very normal people

            Liked by 1 person

          • You don’t want my eyes. Too short-sighted 😉 too much book reading and not enough cleaning and ironing.

            I think so too. We respect each others’ opinions, can agree to disagree and hopefully have a beer together.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            I see your eyes would work just as good as mine. I read a lot, i hate ironing and cleaning.
            We should have a beer someday

            Like

          • We are 3,740 miles/6000 kms apart. Not sure where the nearest bar is at the 3000 km mark …

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            We can find a bar, maybe somewhere in Morocco

            Like

          • Rabat is cool. Not fond of Casablanca. Tanger is good but I never drank beer there, only in Rabat.

            Like

          • Ruth says:

            You say that I’m reading it with feminist eyes as though that were a dirty word. I popped over to your blog and saw you do likely think that it is. I wouldn’t classify myself as a staunch feminist and certainly not a radical one.

            #1) Yes, she did say her mother “was imbued with the idea of getting married and being the perfect homemaker.” if you read closely this was related to the idea that her own mother had that she shouldn’t receive any sort of formal education. Yes, wisely(IMO), her father and brother saw that even a girl needs an education. Have I misread or are you of the opinion that education is wasted on women and that we should all just learn to iron, sew, clean, cook, and be pleasing to the menfolk. If the idea that all children should receive book learnin’ makes me a feminist that is a mantle I’ll gladly wear.

            #2) My own father, who could not have in any way been categorized as feminist, saw the value in my sisters and I being independent – not needing a man to take care of us. He taught us how to change tires and fix small engines. He did not want us reliant on men because those are the kinds of women who are taken advantage of. If believing woman are intelligent, should be educated enough to make informed decisions, and independent make me a feminist that is a mantle I’ll gladly wear.

            #3&#4) One can lament opportunities lost while also appreciating opportunities granted. There truly are unlimited “the big one that got away” fish stories out there. It doesn’t mean you didn’t enjoy the fish you ate. It just means you wished you were able to reel in that big one, too. Most of us are smart enough to realize that we can’t “do it all” but we can still dream. If being a dreamer makes me a feminist that’s a mantle I’ll gladly wear.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ruth says:

            Also, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be totally imbued with an idea, especially when you’re a child. It means other people put that idea into your head before you even had a chance to make up your mind what you thought about that idea to begin with. Someone else told Kate’s mother what she should be. So if my believing that everyone deserves a chance to make up their own mind about ideas and what they want to be in life without someone else telling them makes me a feminist, that’s a mantle I’ll gladly wear.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Quite. Three times was a bit OTT!

            Like

        • makagutu says:

          I did and still can’t find such a conclusion.
          Maybe you could be kind enough to point me to the right direction. My eyes could be clouded

          Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Mak. I was wondering what I had written to give such a misleading impression.

        Like

    • I didn’t write that.

      Like

    • She said nothing of the sort about her mother in this post.

      Like

  9. EllaDee says:

    A beautiful, heartfelt tribute to your mother. Very moving. It made me think of a conversation I had recently with Dad. We were discussing his wish to be buried with Mum -dead more than 40 years. It perplexes, quite understandably, my half-family. Dad’s take on it is that my mother was the love of his life. Back in the early 60’s when they met things were different… there was none of this casual stuff… his words. He made that commitment for life. His just went on quite a bit longer than hers. But still. Their families were of equal but different backgrounds, and didn’t pursue common ground. Our parents made their choices in a different time, world… and got on with it.
    Your mother’s photo reminds me somewhat of mine, similar hair and smile.

    Like

    • Thanks EllaDee. So sad that your mum and dad’s married life was cut tragically short. You must have been well young when your mum died 😦 I can understand both points of view, how very difficult.

      I think the different times factor is so significant. Expectations, societal norms, culture and customs all change over the generations, and looking back 50 or 60 years before we were born, with the perspective from today is like looking through a time bubble.

      Can’t remember if I’ve seen a pic of your mum, but one of Vicky’s (on pic a colour) looked similar to mine.

      Like

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