I used to study her hands. The entirety of her hands. I can recall the shape of her finger nails the creases in her fingers and the width of her palm. I would look at the way her finger nails would curl but it was only on a few nails. I would wonder why they grew that way. What in her DNA caused them to do that?
Her hands proved to me that she worked hard. If you would follow your eyes from her hands to her arms you would find scars and burn marks on her hairless fair skin. Her burn marks and scars were from the baking racks and the ovens that her hands and arms would pass through constantly.
She was a baker for 25 years and on that glorious day when she retired she was so happy. We had a party for her and she burned her uniform. She danced and she drank wine … she was finally free. Free from the burden of what she experienced for more than 25 years – work.
She didn’t hate to work. It wasn’t that she didn’t like to labor. She was infact good at her job she was even a good manager. She inspired people. But what she was free from was the stress. She was free to use her time as she pleased without having someone burden her with stress. She missed plays and volunteer days at school and holidays because she had to bake. She had to provide others with the goods that they would consume in celebration with their families while missing out on celebrations with her own.
She would rise early in the morning and work all day. She would come home and sleep. She would wake up and make dinner and do it all over again. Her husband would make her coffee and iron her uniforms and send her off every morning with a smile and a selflessness because he loved her.
He didn’t complain that about getting up at 2 am with her. He did it because he loved her.
She continued without him after he passed away. She started a new life. This new life included raising her youngest daughter. Getting her through school and watching her graduate from graduate school. She sobbed. She saw her hard work fulfilled. She saw where she came from and where she was going through her daughter. Her daughter made her proud and she made her daughter proud.
She was the inspiration for much of what her daughter would accomplish. She became the motivation and cornerstone of her daughters ambitions. She taught her daughter so much and even more her daughter learned the day that her mom passed away.
I miss you mama. I honor you everyday in my thoughts. I love you forever. ❤