Sunday, May 11, 2008
A little ditty about Shirley Diane
Although I was born in the 1970s, you could say that my life actually began in 1952 when a dark-haired Shirley Diane made her way into the universe. Soon thereafter, the dark hair gave way to platinum curls and the world was never the same.
A few growth spurts later, cue the leggy bombshell. Always quick to fudge her age — "Yeah, I'm 17" – when in reality, only 14. A grammar-minded student, yet rebelliously stubborn. Supposedly she once put a preppy girl's head in the toilet because she bad-mouthed a poor girl about her mismatched wardrobe. Cruisin' Chester on a Friday night, clean-cut boys lining up for dates spent sipping root beer over googly eyes.
Enough moxie to knock the socks off a certain presumptuous fella who was never left wanting when it came to the ladies. To Vegas in a flash, because that's how the cool kids did it — almost running off the road after staying up all night. Three babies later, waking up early to mow the lawn because that fella hated doing it. Hamburger patties and fried potatoes after 11-C treks. Chicken and dumplings — the Oklahoma way. Introducing amazing new foods: bagels and cream cheese. Oh, how one daughter thought this meant they were suddenly rich. Doing without nice things for years so that the kids would have new school clothes, a new violin, a Slip'n'Slide. Teaching about the holy spirit with the clasp of warm hands and blazing eyes.
Shirley Diane worked in a foundry — all the male engineers gasp, their hard hats shifting as she passed. What a sight. A woman in a man's world. But the femininity didn't wane, it shone brightly here and there. A royal blue bathing suit lounging by an octagon pool in Sun River, Ore. Or ladylike determination to get to the snow despite husband's admonition about bad roads. Who knew that once she put the clutch in on that little Champ it would began to slide backward down the icy pass, spinning precariously close the the cliff. The snapshot below of how she looked on that day. Free spirited. Earthy. Spiritual. Intelligent. Beautiful.
Mom, you are THE reason I'm here — David's my soul mate, but you were my first. I love you.