Posted by: namesconnie | January 8, 2015

Where I Got My Courage

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Mom left my alcoholic dad for good.
She loaded up four kids, a dog and two cats
into her station wagon.
We drove from New York to Florida
– a three day trip,
never to return to him, even with a fifth baby born.

This was in the sixties –
a courageous act that mostly was looked down upon.
How dare a woman leave her man like that!
With divorce,
Mom had to sit out taking communion at church –
a weekly shame on her.

She had to endure long waits in welfare offices,
with all us kids getting antsy from the wait.
She didn’t have money for babysitters, most of the time.
Again she felt hurt and shame from her dire straits,
but even through many nights of crying,
her courage helped her continue on.

I left my alcoholic husband for good.
Left with my two kids.
Drove up the California coast with a brother and his family
– a thirteen hour trip,
never to return to him.
Spent years as a single mom –
welfare, food bank lines,
my shame of poverty!
But whenever I felt it was just too hard to go on,
I remembered my mom’s courage
and that gave me the strength to continue on.

Years later, the kids are grown,
and I look back at all that was accomplished.
I treasure the love the kids and I share and it all started with me witnessing courage,
from a mom who got things done,
even when it seemed most difficult.
Mom, thanks for the courage!

Artwork and Poem by, Connie Webb


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