Mostly I Remember My Mother Being Tired

 My mother and I and my baby sister were left alone as soon as the war started.

 By Caroline McCarthy                      b. 1938

My dad volunteered for the Navy right away because he didn’t want to fight in the mud like his father had done in the Army.  We didn’t live way out in the country, but we were up the coast, pretty far from town.   You couldn’t call it a real farm, but my dad liked to raise our own chickens and tend a big vegetable garden.

Taking care of our place pretty much by herself was a big job, and she was not a big woman.  On top of that, I used to see how hard she had to work to figure out how much gasoline she had to get around and how many ration stickers she needed for this and that.

With no end to the war in sight,  she became weary, but not discouraged. “Lots of people have it worse than we do,” she would repeat.  I had my chores and tried to help, but a five or six-year-old can only do so much.

A memory I have is when I once I found her sound asleep, with her head resting on her arms at the kitchen table.  She tried to look perky when I woke her, but to me she looked so tired.   That’s what I remember from the war.

PS  My dad came home safely.

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