Mom – she never complained
| |

She Never Complained

Share our stories on social media:

Golda Meir. Susan B. Anthony. Clara Barton. Margaret Thatcher. Florence Nightingale. Hillary Clinton. Mom was none of these women. She was a quiet, reserved woman who felt deeply but kept those feelings to herself. She would never have wanted to be in the spotlight.

Mom grew up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She was the second oldest of four siblings, but the oldest girl. I think a lot of responsibility was dumped on her as a child, not that she ever complained. Though Grandpa made a good living even during the Depression, he was parsimonious. Mom had three dresses in her closet – two for school and one for Shabbat. She didn’t complain.

Mom didn’t talk too much about her “feelings.” She was a product of her generation; listened and respected her parents and elders. Mom wanted to be a nurse, but my grandfather’s memories of the “loose” army nurses he encountered in World War I nixed that idea. She didn’t complain and did what expected of her. She went to college, met my dad during World War II and got married after graduation.

Marriage meant a husband to look after and babies to raise. Professional ambitions were secondary. But I never heard her complain. She lived 1,200 miles from her family, in a new town, making new friends, but she never complained. Mom began working with my dad full-time in his business in 1958, and though it might not have been fulfilling, it was what a wife did. She never complained.

Mom also had her health challenges. She had multiple surgeries for “suspicious” breast cysts. All were benign until the age of 50, when a pathology report came back with precancerous cells. She elected to have a double mastectomy. And still she never complained. Twenty-six years later, she received a diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma. Her prognosis was poor, but she didn’t complain. Two weeks before she died, her pain level was 9 out of 10. She didn’t complain because she didn’t want to bother the doctors or her family. Mom was very talented. She had a mechanical brain. This enabled her to take apart an appliance, figure out why it wasn’t working, fix it and put it back together. She was proficient in needlework. Sewing, knitting, crocheting and embroidery were just a few of her talents. In her 60s, she took oil painting and furniture reupholstering classes; she reupholstered the dining room chairs! Mom was active in many volunteer organizations. If you asked her to do something, you knew it would get done quickly, efficiently and without any fuss. No complaints!

Mom grew up in a different era than her daughters. She never patted us on the back and said, “good job.” She never bragged to her friends about our accomplishments. We never heard her complain, and she expected the same from us.

Mom was not an “in your face” type of person. Yet, she had her loyal friends and made her mark in the community. She died in the early morning hours, and her funeral was held that afternoon. So many people came to the service; how comforting it was to see that this quiet and unassuming woman was loved and respected by so many.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *