Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Louise Hirschfeld

Louise Hirschfeld, circa 1931
Louise Hirschfeld was my Mom, who passed away almost ten years ago. Born and raised on a farm in a tiny central Texas town, she had a tough childhood mainly due to illness. In due time she met the man from Belize who'd become my Dad, and she gave him four sons in Texas and Louisiana. Then during World War II he sent us all to live in Massachusetts. Mom hated it, yet lived the rest of her life north of Boston. But I'd ask her to tell me stories (I was the last of the brood), and she'd tell me about farm life, about meeting up with a rattlesnake, picking cotton, coming down with diphtheria and having to drop out of school forever in the eighth grade. She talked about the sun and the heat, and how she loved bluebonnets and rain--to her dying day, she always loved an old-fashioned downpour. She talked about getting her first job as a telephone operator, where a supervisor looked down on her and challenged her to spell "Albuquerque." Mom proudly recounted spelling it perfectly. Years later as she lay dying in ICU, my wife and I inquired about her comfort. "I'm not doing that well," she said. -- Pause -- "But I can still spell Albuquerque." And then one last time, slowly, she did.

Mom, 2002

10 comments:

Jodie said...

What a beautiful story and what beautiful memories. Thank you for sharing your mum with us.

Lynda R Young said...

This is a beautiful tribute to your mom. I don't think I could spell that word! ;)

The Armchair Squid said...

I love the Albuquerque story (did I get it right?). Go, Mom!

Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

What a fount of stories she must have been. I liked the fact that she remained spirited till the end. That's a lesson for us.

Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar at Cynthology

loverofwords said...

Such a touching story and I am so glad you were there holding her hand at he end.

Cindy Dwyer said...

What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing your mom with us.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

What a sweet memory. She was still sharp if she could still spell ABQ.

Melody said...

Your mother sounds darling!! Thank you for sharing this memory with us. And thank you for stopping by my blog. :)

Cairn Rodrigues said...

Isn't it great how our mom's can still inspire us after they're gone? A beautiful memory Bob, thanks for sharing.

Elle Carter Neal said...

It sounds like she was an amazing woman. What a lovely story.