Wednesday, May 13, 2009

OK, NOW It's Mother's Day

The third part of a trilogy is supposed to be the best.
Yeah, right.

I saved the third entry in the trilogy about my mother for after Mother's Day. Somehow, it seemed appropriate because now we'll talk about her when I knew her. The previous two posts were about her life before her marriage and my brother and I coming into the picture.

Sophia Pawlak married Leon Kleylein on April 15, 1944 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. There don't seem to be any wedding pictures that are identified as such, but here's one where Mom has a hibiscus flower in her hair and my father has one of those short 1940's ties on. (Hmmm, I wonder if they'll come back?) Anyway, This could be it for all I know. Just for fun, let's say it is - OK, here's their wedding picture! They seem happy.

Here's another one where they seem happy. I like this one because it's so well worn that I presume they liked it as well. My father is wearing his auto mechanic's uniform and Mom is wearing the type of housedress that I remember her wearing all the time. That insignia on my father's shirt LOOKS like the old Amoco logo before they went red white and blue, but I can't quite make it out. Maybe I should use that special software that the cop shows have that clarifies an image even when there are NO PIXELS available. Oh, wait, there isn't any such software.

Here she is with my brother Dave in January of 1946. Look how handsome my brother is, my mother can't believe her eyes.

As I mentioned before, my mother was a maid all her life. She worked at the Holiday House on Biscayne Boulevard and NW 117 St. in Miami and at the LuRu Motel at Biscayne and NW 145 St. operated by Lou and Ruth Bruno (LuRu). Interestingly, the back of the Holiday House property was on the Dixie Highway (East Dixie - see previous posts) and the LuRu was situated right on what was once the Dixie Highway and the Florida East Coast railway ran behind it. She could walk to the Holiday House, but she had to take a bus to the LuRu and when we moved to Carol City, it was a long trip.

And then, here she is three years later with me at five months. She looks like she's been through the ringer, but I guess that's what happens when you have a ten pound baby.

As much as she loved my brother and me, I think she had a special love for my daughter Leah. The family never had more than two nickels to rub together, but Mom would have given everything she had to Leah with no hesitation.

I'm sorry Mom never got to meet Heather since Heather wasn't born until a year and a half after she died. I'm sorrier still that Heather didn't have the opportunity to meet her grandmother Kleylein. Imagine how hard it must be to miss memories you never had.

My mother was a good mother. Our clothes were clean, there was always enough food and neither my brother nor I ended up in prison for any considerable length of time. Sure, my parents smoked and drank beer, but so did everyone in those days, there wasn't any television to numb our brains. My brother and I learned how to work and you can blame it on genetics or culture, I don't care, it worked out for me.

Thanks, Mom.


Leah Kleylein said...

well, that was a fitting conclusion. I'm all misty now.

Thanks Dad!

Dave said...

I was a real chunk when I was a baby wasn't I? Great picture of mom with Leah!

debbie said...

She dearly loved Leah. I can still see her face light up when we met her at the bus stop and drove her the rest of the way home to visit for a bit. She laughed a lot during those visits.

Redcay Family said...

I can't get over how BIG you are in that picture Dad. You were only 5 months and look like a one year old.

This was a really nice post. I would have loved to have met her.