Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Best She Could

Marie Loree Bowen, school years, San Francisco.

I think we hold our mothers to a higher standard than anyone else; I don't think we want them to have human failings. Now that I am much older - towards the end of my own life - I am at peace with her. My mother didn't - perhaps couldn't - protect me from my abusive father. But I realize that she just wasn't equipped to handle or even understand what was going on - she had no point of reference for it. 
Marie and Lou Hagler. I have very few photos of the two of them together, after they married. Mom "unfriended" Lou the old-fashioned way, after their divorce.
  As it was, she had 9 children, losing two of those children in the years to come, which killed her inside, each time. The first time, it drove her to drink, which affected my younger siblings the most. But Mom was the reason we had Christmas and meals, more often than not. She really tried, often "winging it", and bought us gifts with her own hard-earned cash. She never hesitated to hug us and tell us that she loved us. She worked hard outside the home, and did the best she could.
Marie and Lou,. with children. It was tough for Mom after she gave birth to my sister Laurie -her second child - because she had to be quarantined with tuberculosis for 6 months after Laurie was born. They never got to bond. But Mom loved us all. That love is the reason we could pass it along to our children & grandchildren. It's the gift that keeps on giving.  

Just Marie. Who knows what could have been, if she hadn't had those children, or married that man? She knew how to enjoy life - when she could.

 Marie especially adored her grandchildren, and they her; they were the ones who cried the most at her memorial.  
Marie and a few of her grandchildren. They could do no wrong!
 Mom was in recovery for many years, and was even leader of her AA chapter. The last time I saw her, I told her how proud I was of her. I love you, Mom. 

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