Mothers’ Day Without Mom

by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer

My mom was not famous. The world never knew her name, or much about her. Millions of other women were her comrades in the factories of World War II, a million “Rosies,” and riveters by other names.

In the 1930s, living with her own mother, mom decided that her sparse apartment needed a real refrigerator, not just an icebox. It was an era in which single women could not get a credit account, but the local appliance store was in desperate straits, and agreed to allow mom to pay for the refrigerator on an installment payment plan. Each payday, mom went to the store and made the weekly payment, principal plus interest, until finally the account was settled.

During that time, the store had changed owners, and mom decided she needed an electric stove to replace the wood burner. So down to the store she went, and picked out a stove. The new owner instructed mom to have her husband stop by and sign the papers. When he learned that mom was single, he became very stern, and informed mom that she would need a credit reference.

Mom replied, I have the best credit reference in town, a man of impeccable credit worthiness. The man asked, and whom might that be? Mom replied, you. She then explained that she had already bought and paid for a refrigerator in installments from the store owned by the man to whom she was talking. At first he was flummoxed. Never in his life had he sold anything on credit to a woman without her husband’s signature. In the end, he had to admit that mom had a good credit reference indeed, and sold her the stove. Mom made every payment on time.

When my mom passed away fifteen years ago, I knew that not only had I suffered a great loss, but also, so had the world. It is a better place for her having been here. She touched many lives in a positive way, giving encouragement to the discouraged, fruitful hope to the hopeless, and reassurance to those in doubt.

Happy Mothers’ Day, Mom. I miss you still.

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