Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mama's Day



My mother is/was/always will be Ethel America "Janie" Petty Hunter (1918-1996). One picture above she is holding me while my older sister comes up on her tricycle. And in the other picture, years later, she is holding her youngest daughter. There are 15 years between the youngest sister and I, which is a generation in some countries.

When she was born she was named Ethel after a great aunt on the Petty side. 1918 was a very patriotic year. There were Old Glory flags flying everywhere, and everybody loved to sing "God Bless America" - which inspired her next older brother Osmo, to plead with their parents to name her America, which they obliged.

Before she was ten year old she got the nickname "Janie" - that is what her siblings begin calling her, after a girl that lived down the road. The Janie that lived down the road was self-centered and selfish. The nickname "Janie" stuck with her all the way to the grave.

She came to Marietta from the hills of north Georgia (near Dalton) to work in the knitting mills at age 17. Soon a few of her sisters moved down also and they rented a house.

She met her future husband, Ed Hunter, a patrolman for the Marietta Police Force and it didn't take long for them to marry, which side by side they were a contrast: She was about 4'10" and he 6'3".

After they married she quit work. Ed didn't think the mother raising his kids should work. Keeping up with the kids were a full time job.

She was there for us and and ready to go to battle with any one who crossed our paths. She defended me against more than one irrate teacher for some of my mischievious tricks.

If she felt she was in the right she went after her enemy with vigor, regardless who they were. One time she took on her own brother-in-law, the mayor, over a zoning problem and won. I think she enjoyed a good fight.

Through our family life (with my parents), I think we upscaled, as far as houses are concerned, 3 times. But each time, I thought it was funny, that once moved she always missed her old friends in her old neighborhood and tried to push the right peoples' buttons to undo the sell so they could move back.

She was completely paralyzed with no muscles at all her last five years... she seemed to have come down with Parkinson's Disease overnight after my father died in 1988 and from that point on she degressed until she was completely helpless.

She could not even speak, only faintly nod. The day before she died she held my hand and kissed the back of it.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Bird said...

Beautiful story, Ed.

6:21 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Bird,
Thanks. I just turn the keyboard over to my heart.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Moms are always heroes.

It is always remarkeable how when when half of an old married couple goes the other half will sometimes soon follow. This was true of my Gr Grandfather and ggrMother.

2:27 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Yep, they become one. They lean on each other, and when one part of the support teams goes, then with no support, PLOP!

3:21 AM  

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