Mom Lunt

Posted: May 10, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

By Tricia Lunt, English Faculty.

One post could never do my mother justice, but I suppose I better start somewhere. I’ll think Imageabout the marvelous things my mother did. My mother raised my brothers and sisters and I (all 7 of us) essentially alone. She was a single mother for my entire life, and like all single mothers, she did the unimaginable: she provided for her family. This, in itself, is extraordinary. The current statistics in the United States indicate that as of 2011, over 10 million American women are single mothers. I need a minute to process that. No, I need a lifetime. I simply cannot imagine how she managed. Like every appreciative adult child, I look back and think, “how in the hell did my mother do it?” The truly amazing thing about my mother is that not only did she manage to see us all fed and clothed and educated, she did beautiful motherly things, too.

The special things that my mother continues to bake for her family helped establish charming family traditions. When I started teaching, I would reference family traditions, and my students were dumbfounded. Their mothers never made homemade jellies and pretzels and cookies and cakes. As she was baking, she would explain things: tell stories, inviting the memory of the recipe’s original author into the kitchen, distant relatives and former neighbors. Mrs. Keller contributed a fair number of dishes. My mom would prompt me, “you remember Mrs. Keller, don’t you?” I didn’t, but what did it matter? Different memories were embodied in each dish, and the traditions evolved over the years. A story I typically share with my students involves my mother’s tradition of celebrating the first day of school with homemade doughnuts. This means that my mother woke up at 4am that day, every year for two decades. It makes perfect sense that I ultimately became a teacher. My mother taught us to celebrate school. Just think of that. My sister Theresa now carries on the tradition with her three boys, making doughnuts the day before the first school day, and many of the 12 nieces and nephews come when they can. A few years ago, I noticed that my brothers and sisters and I all eat the doughnuts the same way; we close our eyes, take a bite, and are transported.

My mother also has a deep love for flowers, which makes sense as she was raised on a flower farm. Sadly, I never had a chance to see the farm where she was raised, but she brought her knowledge of flowers to her home. I recognize the first signs of spring in the early flowers, crocuses and forsythia which she taught me to identify. There were daffodils, of course, and later in the summer a tiny swath of violets. The house where I grew up has had over the years a remarkable preponderance of blooming and fruit trees: lavender lilacs, white dogwoods, Japanese weeping cherry, crabapple, pear, and plum trees. The special additions my mother made were rose bushes planted in front of the three front windows: red and white roses in front of her window, and yellow roses in front of the girls’ room because they were her eldest daughter, Betsy’s, favorite. My mother planted colorful annuals in beds by the back door, something my eldest brother Ralph does for her now every Mother’s Day.

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