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Mary Kay

Q: What is your earliest memory of your mother? A: Earliest memory of mom. The first memory that came to mind was when I was very little and had the measles. People were afraid the measles could cause blindness, so they closed all the blinds to keep the room dark. I remember Jim and I being in a very dim room and mom singing to us and bathing our heads. A few happy memories - I used to love to brush Mom’s hair. When I was real little I used to stand on the sofa and brush her thick black hair. I also remember one summer day with mom and dad. We were playing in front of the house with all the neighbor kids. Dad was giving us bike rides on the back of the bike when Mom jumped on to the handlebars and off they went. I remember all of us laughing as they went down the street.

Q: What is your earliest memory of time spent as a family? A: Sunday was always family day. We spent just about every Sunday at Grandma Eisaman’s house. All of our cousins would be there. Grandma lived next door to Uncle Bud so the two adjoining yards gave us plenty of room to run around and play. I just remember eating a big Sunday dinner with Grandma’s delicious pies for dessert. The kids would play outside all day and the adults would play cards inside. That’s where mom learned how to play poker. She always loved card games.

Q: What is your favorite childhood memory of your mother? A: Not sure what my favorite memory is of mom. All of my best memories seem to be about how kind and caring she was to everyone. Mom was so gracious and always made everyone feel so welcome. One of my best memories would just be coming home from school on a cold wintry day. Mom would have a snack ready for us and we would sit in the kitchen and talk about our day. I do remember the first present I ever bought for mom with my own money. I was probably about 9 or 10 at the time. Mom collected milk glass at that time. I had been saving my money (i am sure Dad helped me out a lot) to buy Mom a milk glass pitcher. I went to the store by myself and made the purchase. I was so excited to get the present home and wrap it. I was such a clumsy kid, I fell on the way home and the beautiful pitcher was in pieces. When I got home I was in tears and handed Mom all the broken pieces. After calming me down and wiping away my tears, mom glued all the pieces back together and placed in on the center of the hutch in a place of honor. She just had such a way of making each one of us feel so very special.

Q: What is your least favorite childhood memory with your mother? A: Money! Mother had no money sense whatsoever and it used to drive me crazy. Mom felt if she had a dollar in her pocket she would have to spend it. Unfortunately, a dollar didn’t buy much so she would have to spend 2 bucks, so she was always broke. She just could not understand the concept of saving for a “rainy day”. Now most of her money was spent on buying gifts for kids, grandkids and others, but it just wasn’t necessary. I remember getting really mad at her one time in Florida. She was staying with me in Orlando and she wanted to visit her friend, Jean, for a few days in Sun City. She was probably close to 70 at the time, but I gave her my car for the two hour trip. As she was leaving my house, I suddenly thought to ask her if she had any money - not much!

The car had a full tank of gas which would get her there and back, but I was not comfortable with her just taking off and gave her $20 to put in a save place in case she needed it to get back home. When she got back to my place, she told me the car was on empty and she was afraid she was going to run out on the way home. I asked her why she didn’t stop and get gas with the $20. Well, she gave Jean’s 16 year old grandson the money “because you no how hard it is to be a boy without any money”. Now this kid came from a very wealthy family - his grandfather was a millionaire, but my poor mom gave this kid her last $20. I was furious thinking of her stranded on the side of the road. While I know it is always nice to give, it is also important to be able to take care of yourself.

Q: When Kay moved out of her apt and into Beth and Joe’s house what were your how did you feel about the initial decision to move? A: I was not crazy about the idea of Mom moving into your home. I thought it would put a lot of stress on the family.

Q: What is your favorite memory of your mom from your 20, 30, and 40s, 50s? A: Memories from my 20s. When I was in my early 20s the war in Vietnam was going strong. As more and more of my friends were being drafted I participated in the peace movement. College students planned a huge rally in Washington DC to protest the US involvement, i think it was in early November. Rick and I drove up to Canton to pick up a few friends for the trip. Since we were in Canton, I decided we should stop by Mom’s house and tell her where we were going. Now most of my friends wouldn’t tell their parents because of the lecture ( you really should.’t go there, it wasn’t safe, you will be arrested etc.) However, my Mom’s reaction was a little different. There was snow predicted for the weekend - so Mom ran all throughout the house finding every pair of gloves, extra scarves, and blankets she could find to keep us warm. I kept telling her we would be fine and didn’t need all the stuff. I was wrong. I have never been so cold in my life. Everyone was so thankful mom piled all those extra clothes on us. Mom was always right!

30s I think I was in my 30s when my relationship with Mom began to change. She was always Mom, but we became friends. This was a really good time. Maggie and Jack were living in Sarasota and Rick and I were in Tampa. Mom would come down every winter. I think that is when I realized how much fun Mom could be. One memory was the Easter bunny caper. Mom read in the paper that you could order an Easter basket delivered by the Bunny himself, so she ordered one for Jack. I don’t no how well you remember Jack, but he has a pretty dry sense of humor. Anyways, we were just sitting around on Easter morning with Jack in his big yellow robe when the doorbell rang. Suddenly a 6 foot Easter bunny was hopping into the house. Jack didn’t know what to do and as he fumbled around we were all laughing. It doesn’t seem so funny as I write this, but it was hysterical.

Mary Kay  
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