Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Memory bit....election division

Election day has a bittersweet element for me.....

Mum was a devoted voter. She voted in every election, no matter how minor or what the weather was like (yeah, that can be a concern in upstate New York in November or March - May not so much.....although I do remember one time it snowed on my birthday - just flurries but snow now the less). She'd walk the eight houses to the main street at the end of the block, cross the street, and go into the high school to vote - a strange and fascinating place to someone in primnary school. Sometimes, Dad went with her and they took Ted and me - memories of those curtains and the big lever to move it - with little levers for actually voting. Other times, they'd switch off and not take us.

Anyhow, the election in 1977 was a minor one - maybe mayor of Buffalo was the big prize? However, it was big for us in some ways. Mum had had a radical mastectomy the week before, and I was old enough to somewhat understand how serious breast cancer could be. Needless to say, Ted and I still went to school the day of Mum's surgery..... to allow otherwise would have been completely out of character for my parents ;-)

On Election Day, the surgeon released Mum from the hospital - he got tired of her not being in the room when he came to see but rather walking around. Figured if she went home, she'd have to make an appointment to see him. (As an aside, almost 30 years later, when undergoing chemo for the ovarian cancer that eventually killed her, she walked the 3+ miles home from Roswell Park more than once.....just like she'd walked to the hospital to give birth to her children - both of whom were a bit slow about getting around to things, so she was the better part of 10 months pregnant..........)
Did Mum go home and go to bed on that Election Day when I was 11? Silly question. Of course not. She went to vote as usual. Don't remember whether she walked (I'd guess she did...stubborn Yankee that she was) or if Dad drove her.

And voting wasn't the end of her day on that Tuesday in 1977 - she also made me a robe (in the evening, while watching the returns - she was pretty much incapable of doing nothing while watching tv....other than An Afffair to Remember, when her something else was weeping......) that I wore until I went away to college seven years later, when she decided that it was just to shabby to be seen in public - so it went to Maine for a few years.

1 comment:

Robin said...

I like to think of people in that generation when people whine about how haaarrrrd things are - they were tough as nails and didn't complain about anything!! Voted at the stroke of 6 am, I did! At least I can do something, although I don't have anywhere near the adversity in my life that previous generations did!