My Mom is an amazing woman! She was, always has been, ahead of her time. And now that we are all dealing with the Coronavirus Pandemic, it has become even more evident just how ahead of her time she is!
My Mom never graduated from High School. Her own mother was stricken with Rheumatoid Arthritis when Mom was a Junior in High School and Mom and her sister took turns staying home to take care of my Grandmother, and her youngest sister, Norma, who was what today we would call a special needs child. Because she missed so many days, Mom was not allowed to receive her diploma and graduate with her classmates. She still does not have a High School Diploma, not even a GED.
Mom worked almost from the day I was born at one thing or another. I remember she taught me how to save when she was working as a waitress. She bought me a bank shaped like a cash register. It held dimes only, at least that’s what I remember. When Mom came home we would take her tip money, separate out the dimes, and put the dimes in my bank. When the bank got full, we would take it to the bank and deposit the money into a savings account she set up in my name. I remember her working as a sewing machine operator, doing piecework in a factory. And I remember how she went to night school once she and my Dad divorced, where she learned typing and short hand so she could work in an office environment instead.
I remember her first office job, for a company that provided linens for businesses, back when we all used those pull down towels that had to be washed, dried, delivered and removed when they became dirty. I remember when we moved to another town and she took a job in an office where, I learned years later, she was being sexually harassed. And I remember when she quit that job and went to work for the Ralston Purina plant in town where she rose to be head of the Traffic Department.
Mom remarried and took a few years off when she gave birth to my two sisters. After a little while, Mom went back to work. She ran a local Cable TV company, she ran a Serve Pro franchise, and after that she did bookkeeping for several small businesses in town. To this day, she helps with bookkeeping at her Church.
All this with no High School Diploma. These days what my Mom did would be impossible! These days you can’t get a job as a receptionist without a College Degree, never mind a High School Diploma!
But how, with the Coronavirus closing colleges everywhere, FUTURISTS are talking about changing all this, about the fact that no one really needs a course in Art History in order to be a business administrator. They are talking about going back to the days when a person could take a course in Keyboarding (a.k.a.typing) and perhaps computer programming and get a good job and a career and a future WITHOUT a college degree. They are talking about going back to the way MOM did it!
So this Mother’s Day I would like to say “Thank You” to my Mom, for being a trail blazer, for being ahead of her time, and an amazing woman, and for being my Mom