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The Ages of Carolyn

She grew up in the South, in the age of Jim Crow In a town divided, no black friends did she know She has her father's russet red hair and mother's walnut-brown eyes The rarest combination, I surmise She was a daddy's girl, at twelve he taught her to drive She loved it and never felt more alive At sixteen she left high school to marry Which they all did then, it wasn't contrary By the age of twenty she had a boy and two girls One, born on the other side of the world While she was living in the wild Azores Then, in a time when it was a shock And only gossip and humiliation it brought She knew she wanted a different course At twenty-one, she sought the divorce So, with three toddlers to support And no high school diploma-she went to work Standing long days on small feet In the muggy South Carolina heat At twenty-five, with her friend on a double blind-date She met the man who would change her fate Their courtship was accelerated and sweet- He proposed after only weeks! His mother, however, did not see it that way Her only son, her pride and joy, marrying a divorcee! With three kids, no less - what would people say? They had a quiet courthouse ceremony, no lavish presents And spent their honeymoon night watching "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" He adopted her children, all one and the same So everyone shared the family surname It was over four years before I came along Named for one of her favorite Beatles songs When she was thirty-six we moved to Great Lakes near Chicago She was always cold there; she never liked the snow During the Illinois years she lost her first three Both girls teenage brides, her son to the Navy And she was a grandmother before she was forty She was thrilled when we got assigned to San Diego She'll live the rest of her life in its warm glow During the early years, when I learned to love all fruit She loved purple polyester pantsuits! But San Diego held a darker side More and more alcohol my father imbibed She could not have carried on Had she not discovered Al-Anon She tried to endure his silent ways and drunk nights Until his infidelity extinguished her fight At nearly fifty, during my senior year She faced her second divorce, and not without fear But also re-found her fun side, her love of dance And had more than one flirtatious romance! She might have re-married but decided against She didn't need to be saved by a prince For the next two decades she enjoyed her life As her own person, not anyone's wife But time is a thief, stealing her memories So this is for her, her trove of stories Now, I don't want you, or I, to see her through rose-colored glasses When we misbehaved, she rarely gave passes Once, in anger, she slapped my legs with a belt But, worst of all, she had an Elvis painting - in felt! She is my genesis, where my lives began Both as an embryo, and as a woman. 5/13/18

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018




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Date: 6/9/2018 9:42:00 PM
Beautiful, Michele. Lovely tribute. Congrats on your win.
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Michelle Faulkner
Date: 6/24/2018 6:11:00 PM
Thank you so much, Line!
Date: 6/1/2018 3:05:00 PM
Michelle, This tribute is heartbreaking and inspiring in the same breath: Absolutely remarkable write!! Congrats on your well-deserved win!... Last comment: They say the apple falls not far from the tree. You, dear apple, are as remarkable as the tree from whom you drew your life's blood. Bravo!! :) Gershon
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Michelle Faulkner
Date: 6/1/2018 3:49:00 PM
Thank you for your kind words (you know, there was a Chicago connection in there! but we only stayed a couple years when I was very young) - take care, Gershon!
Date: 5/31/2018 10:39:00 PM
Congratulations on your win with this tribute to your amazing mother! Enjoyed reading this so very much.
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Michelle Faulkner
Date: 6/1/2018 3:50:00 PM
Thank you, Susan (btw, one of my sisters is also named Susan! funny how life is sometimes!)
Date: 5/13/2018 4:23:00 PM
I really enjoyed this life story Michelle. What a woman! Told with such love and admiration.
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Michelle Faulkner
Date: 5/14/2018 8:13:00 AM
Thank you so much, Nina - happy Mother's Day to you and yours!
Date: 5/13/2018 11:39:00 AM
You've got it documented for the family history...A strong mother was she...Enjoyed it Michelle...
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Michelle Faulkner
Date: 5/13/2018 3:50:00 PM
So grateful for your kind comments, Arturo!
Date: 5/13/2018 10:44:00 AM
a touching story, Michelle. I especially love the last paragraph. Happy Mother's Day to you both:)
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Michelle Faulkner
Date: 5/13/2018 3:52:00 PM
Thank you, Daniel (the last bit is actually a quote from a Dan Fogelberg song "The Leader of the Band" - I just added 'mama' to make to work for Mother's Day)