Thanks for Sharing Your Mother

Raised in the south, our family employed a maid who came to work for us most weekdays to cook and clean and take care of my sister and me.  And she was one of the most important people in my life.

She died 5 years ago this week.  And I’m missing her mightily.

I’ve written about her a lot in my life, and I’ve written about the unique relationship between black maids and white children in the south.  And I wrote my Masters thesis on that topic.  It’s a complicated one, of course, and one that white girls really don’t know the half of.

But today it’s too tender to share or to give more words to.  What I do want to say today, on this particular blog, is that I benefitted from her care and love because her own children went without as much of her time and energy as they probably would have liked to have had, so that she could support them by taking care of me.

And I want to thank them.  So… “Mary and Howard, Mattie meant the world to me.  Thank you for sharing her.”

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4 responses to “Thanks for Sharing Your Mother

  1. Cary: I’d like to hear or read more. I have had a similar relationship with Louise for my entire life. She is still one of my best supporters & encourages me to choose the high road. I named my third child Sarah Louise after her. She is still alive and still a blessing to me although the relationship has changed greatly.

  2. Cary: I too, would love to read more! Mayola was my other mother. Sweet memories and lessons learned not just how to cook, but the importance of touch, safety was found in those great hands of hers. My mother’s stories and her mother’s stories of their other mothers…I would love to read your thesis. I have pictures to add if you every wanted to publish…sounds like a course Virginia might study at William and Mary!!

    • I’ve always wanted to publish it… it would need some shaping but it’s a topic that really resonates with people who had the experience of knowing wonderful women like Mayola and Mattie. Did you read The Help? I was part of a skype audience with Katie Couric and author Kitty Stockett. Can be found at @katiecouric. Great discussion from some of the folks on that interview.

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