A Tribute To My Mother, Born and Raised in Brooklyn
My mother Gladys in Brooklyn, circa 1940s. She was born in St. Marks Hospital in NYC in 1922 and grew up in a household of extended family members, even sharing a bed with a maternal aunt until she was 16.
My mother suffered from a variety of medical issues throughout her life, some due to common but unnecessary procedures of the time. She spent a year in traction, which left her with one leg longer than the other, in time leading to other problems. With her Type A personality, though, nothing ever held her back from working hard both inside and outside the home. I think a good deal of her drive was due to her attempts to be the perfect, doting daughter in a household in which higher education was reserved only for boys.
Despite her various surgeries and missing many days of school per year, she graduated from high school a year and a half early! Her younger brother never ended up showing any interest in college and ended his academic career with a high school diploma.
Yet my mother was resentful of what she perceived to be her parents’ favoritism, and even though a CUNY education was free and all she would have to do was work to pay for her books, their lack of support won out along with her unending desire to please them.
Her life was marked by could’ves and should’ves, yet she remained loyal to her parents to the very end.
She passed away on August 23, 2011, a few days after she entered hospice. Her desire was to remain in her own home until the end. She did just that.
And by the way, she could never understand why her parents chose to name her “Gladys” and pretty much loathed it. I think she would be tickled to know that I said that. ~shared by @remember_me_when_this_you_see