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MY MOM
Written by her daughter, Aileen Reynolds Quistberg/Kvistberg
1979
Who walked to the hospital all the way
And gave me birth that Winter day? My Mother.
Who doctored me when I got ill?
And got mad 'cause I couldn't swallow a pill? My mother.
Who cooked the very best things to eat
And worried about my athlete's feet? My mother.
Who sewed for me nice things to wear
So I wouldn't have to go around bare? My mother.
Who always taught me the right things to do
And made our home for my playmates too? My mother.
Who took me along to the grocery store
And got very mad whenever I swore? My mother.
Who scolded and spanked me when I did things wrong
And listened intensely when I'd sing a song? My mother.
Who had other children? Four others in fact.
And loved them each dearly and taught them with tact? My Mother.
Who do I think of Everyday?
And not often enough do I say--
I love you, Mother.

    Yes, that's my Mother. Even though I always called her "Mom", I would refer to her in my poems as "Mother".
    She was an elite lady. She was clean and neat. I remember her swearing only once, that was because I made her mad. All she said was "Oh shit"! I remember the black bloomers she made for me. She was modest and wanted me to be modest too. I was always putting my legs up in the air. Mom was very strict. When she told me to do something, I was expected to do it or else. I had a bad habit of slamming doors when I was mad. She would call be back in and I would have to shut the door softly. I thought it was fun drawing and writing on the red brick walls at 219 West 6th South. I was really old enough to know better. After I had completed my art work, she would scold me and make me wash it all off. She believed in spankings on the right place, namely my fanny. I received many of these because for some reason I found it difficult to obey. She usually used her houseslipper. I guess I taxed her strength.

Whenever I see a sunset at night or birds in the early morn,
I have no doubts they are pretty. Was I, the day I was born?
You probably looked at my crying face and thought,
"My goodness why couldn't she be pretty, or better, a little boy?
That's what I hoped she would be."
I'll bet I was bald and cried all the time and to make things worse
I got sick with Bronchial Pneumonia when nine months old.
But I knew I would get well quick.
When I was a toddler I sapped your strength I can just see you now.
You told me "no, no" a thousand times, but I didn't hear you somehow.
"No, no, Aileen, don't touch that stove, if you do, I'm sure you'll be burned."
But it was so pretty and welcomed my touch. That lesson I really learned.
As I grew older I did many dumb things like getting stuck in the tar.
Falling off slides and eating raw corn.
You should have kept me in a closed jar.
"You shouldn't be playing near those pipes,
You might roll one over your toes."
Well, I got hurt and couldn't walk for a week,
And decided my mother sure knows.
I guess it's a way to help kids learn.
There are choices which have to be made
But when they're in trouble, and need someone's help
It's Mother who comes to their kid.
    Mom always came to my rescue when I got in trouble which was often. On one occasion in Ontario, Dad had fixed us a rope swing on one of the trees in our yard. My friend, Alladene Rose, and I were playing on it and when it came her turn, I didn't want to give it up. Alladene bit me on the arm and I went yelling after Mom. She came out and told Alladene, "Don't bite Aileen again or I'll bite you back and I've got great big teeth." She always came to my rescue.
    My mom loved to cook. On her birthday she would cook an excellent meal, set the table with candles, centerpiece and favors. She would go all out for her daughters, including Wanda Park. She could always fix anyone something to eat whenever they dropped in. When she started to work at United Bakery, she would come to our home in Rose Park, bringing me goodies from the bakery. She would also buy the kids things from time to time such as toys and clothing. She always encouuraged me to sing, try out for plays in the Ward, and to write poetry. If she wanted me to say something special to someone, she would ask me to write a poem for that person, such as Aunt Dean and Aunt Della, the Nelsons and Mrs. Catmull. She was a great Mother as my poems have indicated. I remember her as being so independent even in her later years. She did her own cooking, housework, baking and canning.
    She was truly a great Mother and I miss her more than words can tell.
I miss her more than words can tell, she meant so much to me,
But I realize she was needed there by her "other" family.
She's gone to a better place I know, the reunion must have been great
To meet her parents, sisters, brothers, and son
And her beloved, wonderful mate.
I was lucky to have her for 54 years, she lived 'til she reached 89.
No words can express the love I have for that wonderful Mother of mine.