Today my mother would have celebrated her 95th birthday. She will be gone 5 years this September. And today seems especially hard due to the passing of my “backdoor” neighbor, a woman who was an integral part of my entire life. She was only 2 years older than my mother and when I ponder this now so many years down the road, I wonder about their shared kinship of sorts. Both ladies grew up poor in a time of great economic hardship for this country. Both had husbands that shall we say were challenging individuals. They shared a common back yard for over 40 years, swapping yard duties and various chores. In their own way they looked out for each other’s children and grandchildren. And along the way they shared hardships and heartaches. American culture has changed and friendships and histories are no longer shared and intertwined through the span of decades. I have spoke of Zelma Snyder as being a cornerstone in my life and it is only as I have grown older and more introspective that I see how my life was built upon the nurturing of the women who played a role in my early childhood.
First and foremost is my mother Minnie Byrel Roman-Kish, a gentle soul berift of any form of meaness or spite. I never knew her to mistreat any living being, human or animal. Mother was a sensitive soul that unfortunately never seemed to learn to ignore the talk of others or let it roll off her back, she was hurt and wounded time and time again by others careless words and actions. She didn’t necessarily understand human nature but she was a natural on picking up on a person’s intentions right off the bat. It took me years to truly appreciate and accept my mother for who she was, a woman whose strength lay in her simplicity. Her love was everlasting and eternal. And she was loyal to you to the end. On this day what would have been her 95th birthday, I salute you Mother dear and commend you for your patient and quiet ways despite the hand that life dealt you. In my eyes you deserve every acolade that could be bestowed upon you. Thanks for letting me get to see a true person without any pretense. Love you Mom.