Saturday, August 02, 2014

Happy Birthday, Wanda June!

Today is my mother's birthday. If she'd lived, she'd be 91 years old, which seems odd, since I can reach into my heart and pull her out at any age I remember her, but I can't imagine her being as old as 91. I don't think she'd have liked it much; the aging process was always her enemy.

Sixty years ago, when she was 31, she was the working mother of two daughters. She'd been divorced from our father for six years, and some of those years were lonely ones. In that summer of 1954 she played one record over and over. She said it was her favorite song and explained to me one day why the little things, the daily kindnesses a good man might show her, were more important than any material things.

Mother remarried in 1957, and she and my stepfather had a son together the following year. She lived until 1999, long enough to see her children grow up and to know and love her grandchildren and her first four great-grandchildren. I'm pretty sure she's still keeping tabs on all of us, including the little ones she never got to meet in person.

I don't know if this song remained her favorite for the rest of her life, but the fact that we had that little talk about it way back when has always made it special to me. A loving, lasting memory is the best kind of little thing.

The song is "Little Things Mean a Lot" by Kitty Kallen.
Thanks to robynfentyfan for posting the video and lyrics on YouTube.


  1. The photo of your mom and Kitty Kalen remind me of the days of WWII and "Hollywood Canteen."

    1. Me, too, Annette. I love looking through old photos of Mother and watching her hairstyle change with the times.


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