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...Then again, maybe it was you, Mom


My mother had the kind of face that made her a prime target for comparisons with various celebrities, most notably Susan Hayward.

Other times, Ida Lupino.
I didn't agree too much with Ida Lupino, after watching all those prison movies she was in, as the sadistic matron. 

Finally, as Mom headed into her fifties and sixties, a co-worker had the nerve to say she looked like Ruth Gordon.

Mom was horrified, though someone who didn't know her in the "Hayward" years could maybe be forgiven for this one.

My mom passed away in 1990. Nine years later, Carl's mother gradually became ill to the point that she was placed in a nursing home. This facility was a dump, and worse, but there were enough adult kids and spouses in the family to form a united front of sorts, keeping up the steady stream of visitors that is often the only thing standing between a nursing-home patient and mistreatment or neglect. Miss Laura Mae was utterly blind by that time, and in quite a bit of pain, so our visits consisted of sitting by her bed, attempting to make conversation. But there were lots of distractions, since patients wandered up and down the hallways and staff members spoke loudly, to the patients and to each other.

During one of these visits, I glanced out into the corridor and saw a woman passing by. She stopped when she got to our door, looked into the room, met my gaze and smiled. It made her face light up and she looked a lot like Ruth Gordon in the photo above. Distractedly, I thought She looks like Ruth Gordon ... Ruth Gordon looked like Mom.  This woman looks like Mom. And just as I finished making the connection, the woman outside the door did the most interesting thing. She smiled even more brightly ...and then she blew me a kiss. That was all. She continued on her way, but in the midst of all the sadness and worry about Carl's mom, it was as though my mom had made a brief appearance, just to say, Hey, honey, you're not alone, and things always get better eventually. I love you.

It made those visits to the nursing home much more bearable from that point on.
Happy Mother's Day.


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