Thoughts On Leaving Home & Finding Home Again – For My Mother

I am a free spirit stuffed between two task-oriented and productive women–my mother and my daughter. As some of you know, the main objective of my blog is to collect enough honey to eventually write my memoir. Two years ago, while I was still in New Jersey, I heard from my mother, who is 92-years-old now. She essentially said: I have been reading your blog. It seems tasteful to me. But I wonder, are you ever going to do anything with it?

My mother knows me. That is the agony and ecstasy of mothers and daughters. We know each other far too well.

Growing up, some of us girls go through several stages of loving, denying the existence of, and learning to re-love our mothers. In reality, it actually wasn’t our mothers who fell in and out of grace with us during that time, it is we who were struggling with ourselves. But that is the fodder for another post.

When I went through my divorce, an enormous amount of anger was flashed from both my would-be ex-husband and me. Later, I realized that getting mad at is part of the recipe for letting go. I think that is what happens with mothers and daughters. Mothers and daughters are often nearly alike and most of us were very close to our moms for many, many years. Suddenly, it is time to walk alone. A lot of emotional turmoil becomes part of the exit scene. Many of us spin through free-fall for a number of years. Some of us never land on our feet. Some do not want to ever go back home again. [That can be both a  physical home and an emotional home–I am talking about a sense of your childhood–within your adult self].

Even when I lived thousands of miles away from my mom–from my childhood homeplace–I never really left home at all. By that, I mean that never tried to erase my roots, and I never tried to appear that I was any more than a Southern girl who had sprung from a cotton patch. I have always admired Dolly Parton, and I believe that is mostly because Dolly never tried to seem to be an Eastern sophisticate, or to seem to be more than a Tennessee country girl.

Oh, How I Love Dolly Parton!
Her Net Worth is $450 Million Now and She Never Quit Being Dolly!
She Never Denied Her Roots

When I was a little girl, my grandfather was the manager of the IGA, which for many years was the biggest drawing business in my entire area. For a while, he had Porter Wagoner come from Nashville, Tennessee, to perform in his store in the Bootheel town of Gideon, MO. During those years, Dolly Parton was a young, unknown country girl, who sang a couple of songs and advertised the kitchen towels or the dishes that were being sold, along with a large box of Breeze. I remember the whole thing like it was last year.

Things have changed for Dolly Parton since then, but Dolly did not change with those things. She is still Dolly Parton.

Just the other day, I was listening to one of her live performances, and after she sang, some redneck hollered from the floor, “Dolly, I love you.”

Totally unscripted and not actually meant to be caught on the recording, Dolly responded–she was only taken a little aback, “Well, I love you, too. But honey, I told you to stay out in the truck.”

Perfect Response! Perfectly Real and Genuine Dolly Parton Response!

The ushers didn’t come and shush the guy. Dolly had it under control, and she never went out of character to handle it.

Dolly Parton is a natural delight. She is a Great American Treasure. She is a Hallelujah Choir for the honest, everyday, down-to-earth country folks from the South. Thank you, Dolly Parton.

I found a video of Dolly, where she talks about the period that she worked with Porter Waggoner and how she had to leave his show but how she would always love him. In the same way, I will always honor Dolly Parton for daring to remain true to herself, I will always love my mom, my hometown, and my dad [who died at the age of 92–I hope that he can hear me now].

Happy Mother’s Day to My Mother who is 92-years-old now.


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