Monday, August 15, 2011
Remembering the Help
Have you seen The Help yet??
Oh my goodness it's wonderful! I laughed
and I cried and left the theater lifted. I thought
of my mom who was a midwife at the age of 16
and became a certified baby nurse and phlebotomist.
She and my dad where very young and coming from
the south they had to find work and quick. My mom
got hired by a very wealthy family in Upstate New York.
She was the help for their family. Her main job was
to care for a little boy named Danny. I still have the
picture of my mom holding Danny. Faded now, they had a sweet
relationship she said. She was a live in nurse and stayed with
Danny during the week and went home to be with my Dad on
weekends. Danny got so attached that sometimes she
brought him home over the weekend when his parents
were traveling. She had a great relationship with Danny's folks
as well. My mom became pregnant with me and as her
belly got bigger it got harder to carry little Danny.
Sometimes Danny would forget and call my mom, Mommy.
This of course didn't set well with Danny's parents.
Soon it really became a problem and there was a really
nasty argument and finally my mom was fired. It was one
of the hardest things she said she ever had to do. Walking away
from Danny broke her heart. A couple of weeks went by
and Danny's parents starting calling. They called everyday
for almost 2 weeks or more. My mom was to hurt to
even answer the phone. One day my mom hears the
doorbell, struggling with big belly, waddles to the door
to find the Ice man standing there with a note in one hand
and a box in the other. I believe it was the Armel Ice Company
that came. The note read, " Shirley, it has not been the same
since we let you go. Danny cried for days and days afterwards.
We are so very sorry. Would you please consider coming
back? We need you. Please expect these gifts." Danny's
parents paid for two years of diaper service and also sent
the most beautiful plaid blue baby carriage ever! My mom
finally spoke to Danny's parents and while all was put right,
she said she just couldn't go back. She told me that she
loved Danny to much and he loved her. Said she
couldn't stand for his heart or hers to be broken again.
My mom shared her stories
about Danny and other children that she helped to care for.
I often wonder where these children are now? Are they doctors,
teachers, Lawyers? Did they get married and have children of
their own? Do they ever think of Miss Shirley? Before their
was a book called , The Help, there was my mom, Miss Shirley.
I miss you mommy and I'm sure there are a bunch of other
babies that miss you too.