Did Mummy actually go behind enemy lines during WWII? And if so, why was she there and what did she do there? These are some of the questions that mull around in my head today.
I did not learn until sometime after Mummy’s death in 2000 that she had served in WWII in London during the Blitz. She served with the OWI … the Office of War Information, the US Government’s propaganda wing. The only reason that I learned about this service is that one day while taking care of my own Executrix duties at home I found my sister’s young child playing with some old scrapbooks of Mummy’s. At home, defines my family home in Vermont, not my own home in the Midwest. Seeing that they were works of obvious historic value at least to the family, I was more than surprised that this four year old had been given these as toys. I took them away and replaced them with something more appropriate. My initial question about Mummy going behind enemy lines was prompted by something that I saw within these scrapbooks filled with paper that was now disintegrating before my eyes. Whatever it is that prompted this thought was seen at least twelve years ago and accessing it might be very difficult.
Today, nearly thirteen years later I still have to sort these books out and place each scrapbook entry into an archival envelope. I will also need to have each entry photo copied and placed on DVD. Yes, this year.
I didn’t like my mother. She really was not a very nice mother. I can remember when the movie Mommie Dearest came out, I thought oh my, that was my mother. Most know that the book Mommie Dearest was a Hollywood “tell all” book of alleged horrific abuse and alcoholism on the part of Joan Crawford towards her daughter.
I am a person who seeks answers to any question that I have. A part of that need is accompanied by the knowing that there is always a reason. I have found a reason for everything that has happened to me throughout my lifetime, have I ever questioned it. I had a very difficult childhood actually it was dreadful. I came from a privileged background. So very privileged that I was sent away to camp at the age of four and sent away to school at the age of thirteen. I have come to realize that this was the British way of doing things. Everything that my family was engaged in was very “British,” the result of my mother’s time in Great Britain.
I am a person of some degree of courage. I am known for having “no fear.” This was not always true. I used to be afraid of my own shadow; today I know that my fearlessness comes from my mother. And interestingly it was also crushed by her when I was a child.