My mom was a unique woman. She seemed to defy the norms of our rural community by living on her terms. No June Cleaver aprons and pearls, no coffee-laced gossip sessions with the local ladies. For my mom, barn boots and hard work brought satisfaction.
She didn’t wait for permission from my dad when she wanted something. (Which is unusual since they married in 1952–an era when good women took a subservient postition in marriage.) She had a bawdy sense of humor, and took pride in “calling it like I see it” even if it hurt people’s feelings.
Mom gave birth to five children and miscarried more than I’m aware of. She never talked about it. In fact, I never had the luxury of hearing about any female functions from her. I’m not sure if she wanted me to discover my own mysteries, or if she was loathe to discuss a woman’s role since she ill-defined it anyway.
What I did take away from my mom is this–cutting your own path leaves you vulnerable to judgement. You need to decide early on if you want to live your life, or if you are willing to allow others to shape it for you. She chose the harder way, but in her view, there really wasn’t a choice. Mom knew she was being authentic, and she was enough.