The Woman

Steven Douglas Elwood


Copyright 2024 by Steven Douglas Elwood 

Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

This is the memory of my Mother.

Her graying thick dark brown hair was always unruly. Her emerald eyes were always gleaming. Her face, though weathered and aged, was still beautiful. She had a quiet strength about her. 

 The woman never wore makeup. She never would spend a dime on herself. She never even dated again since her husband died. Her every waking moment was for her children. I remember a story that was told about her through the years. In the 1950's she had to go to the principals office because her son Michael would not adhere to the dress code of the school. The dress code stated that all students must wear a tie. She was sitting there in the principals office. Sitting there with her stained blouse. (That was her trademark). She was arguing that Michael did comply with the rules, he had worn the tie. 

"But Doris, he wore the tie around his waist."

"So what?" she replied, "I have always taught my children to be individuals." As she said this, she crossed her legs in a ladylike fashion. Michael, who was sitting quietly in another chair in the office, put his head in his hands in embarrassment. As she had crossed her legs, she had exposed her socks from under her polyester pants revealing, one blue sock and one white sock. The principal noticed this, held up his hand and said, 

"I understand Doris, I will consider this matter resolved." The next week the dress code was dropped from the curriculum.

She never went out, unless it was to work in her large garden, or to watch the storms roll in with her youngest child. She loved to play games with the children. Every night she would read the bible to them. And she would question them to see what they thought of certain passages. She taught her children to have manners, to always say please and thank you. She always taught them to think for themselves, and to never just follow the crowd.

One winter she had thrown her back out trying to pull the garage door up through the heavy snow. She was bedridden for a week. Her children had all pitched in. They did their chores. They went to school, and they cooked the meals. They took good care of her. Even the youngest would push a chair to the kitchen sink so he could reach to do the dishes. When she was finally able to get out of bed. She was so thankful to the children, she made four large cherry nut cakes. Each ball of dough lovingly rolled in her delicate hands. She carefully rolled the balls into the cinnamon sugar. Then layer by layer she would add the chopped nuts and cherries. The children thought this is what heaven must be like as they devoured the cakes. She sat watching, drinking her coffee with an angelic smile on her face.

Mrs. Doris Bell Elwood died of cancer in May of 2005, at the age of 79. I miss her terribly. 

There are no words to express my sorrow from losing my mother.


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