It’s not your birthday or mine, no special anniversary to remember you by. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry tears of joy at the light bulb that just came on today.
There were things I was afraid to see. I didn’t get it then, but I get it now. Why you, my peace-loving, gentle mother, in later years started saying, “The next person who crosses me, I’m gonna hit ‘em with my purse!” – a bit of wisdom borrowed from Ruth Buzzy of the Laugh-In TV show. I know you wouldn’t have really hit anyone, but you were fed up even though you laughed at the prospect. Tired of being taken advantage of for who you were, far too many times.
With Jessica Fletcher style (Murder She Wrote) you chased down the UPS man and met him at his next delivery stop to yell at him for cutting you off in a near- miss that could have ended badly for you both (but especially for you). You told off your boss, a married man who solicited you, and quit your job. “It was a joke” he said, but you knew better. You also confronted your minister in a private meeting when he told his congregation “The Bible says you must submit to a husband no matter how you are treated.” You told him exactly how that was not true and he apologized to the whole congregation from the pulpit. You single-handedly ran after thieves who pilfered things from your section of Sibley’s Department Store and helped security head them off outside.
At the time, I worried for your safety as an older middle-aged woman, donning your cape, grabbing your mighty purse, and rushing out the door to fight a never-ending battle for love, justice, and kindness. But now I see how you turned yourself into a fiercer version of the Wonder Woman you always were and never dared show. You had held back your Lioness spirit in hopes that others would meet you halfway. From your gentle place you tried to speak your #MeToo in a subtler manner until that voice got stuffed under the weight of oppression and your broken heart…but only for a while.
Then suddenly, there you were R-O-A-R-I-N-G back - for all your stolen dreams, your exploited generosity and loyalty, for all the Jokers who weren’t joking, and the Riddlers who riddled your heart with pain.
Now I get it Mom. Thank you, a million times over. Now where is that cape of mine? The next person who crosses me, I’m gonna hit ‘em with my purse! View Ruth Buzzy and Artie Johnson in that famous skit here: https://youtu.be/TCJJ2ejDfek