My Mother Ann

With today being Women's day, I have been thinking of my mother... she was born Dona Alieen Reed on July 11, 1934 in Salem Oregon.  Her father's name was Robert Reed, he was not to be a part of my moms life as he passed away before she was two years old.  She had no memories of him and her mother, my grandmother never spoke of him, never explained what happened.

From the time my mom was a little girl, she was raised by her grandparents and her aunts and uncles outside of Salem Oregon on their farms.  She was quite the tom boy growing up, she went without shoes as often as she could... even burying the shoes that were bought for her often.  My mom also had very long (to her ankles) red hair, that she had braided; she asked often if she could have her hair cut, no one would allow her to get her hair cut... she decided one day to cut the braid off herself.

She then had the short hair she desired... she went to live with her mom in Salem when she was a teenager, by this time her mother had met and married another man.  He from all accounts was a wonderful, kind and caring man who was more a parent to my mother than her own mother. She came to love this man as her father and talked fondly of him her whole life.

When my mother was 17, she had met Dale and they married.  They had three children together, Helen, Darlene and Cheryl... a couple of years after Cheryl was born my mother and Dale separated. I must say, my mother always talked highly of Dale... it just never worked out for them.  Not too long after they had separated, my mother became pregnant with another child... she was about five months along when my father was passing through Salem on his way to Hollywood (he had dreams of being a movie star).  My father worked a ton of odd jobs crossing Canada from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Oregon... he had stopped there to pick fruit in the orchards to make money to go to Hollywood.

My father met a man while working in the orchards who was friends with my mother... this is how my parents met.  My father was just 18 and my mom was 24 at the time... my father lied about his age... hahaha... by the time my mom found out how old he was, she was in love with him and it didn't matter to them.  My parents traveled around the states, first they went to Florida when mom was due to deliver and she gave her daughter up for adoption.  It wasn't as easy to be a single mom in those days and everyone knew my dad was not the father.

My parents were to stay together for nearly ten years, they had four girls together, Kimberly, me, Shelly and Lisa.  I always chuckle and say how my parents were like gypsies...  they traveled back and forth from Halifax to Salem in a red Volkswagen bug.  My sister Kimberly was born in Salem Oregon in 1961, I was born in Halifax in 1963, Shelly was born in Salem in 1964 and my sister Lisa was born in Halifax in 1966.  The babies stopped here, only because the birth control pill was readily available.

After the fire in October 1964, where my sister Kimberly didn't survive... my parents finally settled in Halifax and tried to make their relationship work.  It was not to be though as my father decided he wanted to live in Toronto and drive big rigs.  Once we moved there, my father ended up meeting Ruth and at the young age of six, I was separated from my mother and was not to see her again until I was fifteen years old.

My father had my mom come to Halifax to meet us, she and I became incredibly close to each other (I also met my baby sister Krista at this time).  I kept up the close relationship for many years... my mother and father tried to rekindle their relationship but after two years, my father left again.  I saw this almost break my mother... she loved my father more than she had loved any man in her life.  I know she had hoped that somehow they would find their way back together... it never happened though.

Some memories I remember as a child (very few)... one time I went to a friends after school without telling my mom... I remember how scared she was, not angry... just scared... I knew she loved me.  Another memory was when she was making pancakes for us, I was five... my parents had been discussing something serious.  My father left the house and I saw my mother looking out the window, she was sad... years later I found out this was about the time my father was running around with Ruth and not long after they separated.

My mom passed away a few years ago, it was quite sudden to me as she had been fine, apparently she had some stomach issues... she went into the hospital and she passed away there, my sister Darlene was with her near the end as she lived in Salem and I lived here in Halifax.  I know my mom made mistakes in her life... who hasn't... not one of us is perfect.  We all make mistakes but my mom really did the best she could with the way she was raised.  She knew very little love growing up and when she finally found the love she was missing with my dad... that didn't work out but she never stopped loving him.

I don't have a lot of memories when I was a little girl but the ones of my mother were good, I felt loved and safe then.  It was a long time before  I would ever feel that way again...

I cherish my past, I accept my present and I dream for my future


  1. Happy women's day and its inspiring when we think of our mom and dad!!!

  2. wow lovely Launna you could write an entire novel about your life. Your mom does sound like a strong woman. I am sorry you lost her. I wish you a Happy Woman's day, you are one of my favorites :).

  3. Thank you Sangay... I cannot help but think of my mother on this day :)

  4. Thank you Petronela, I think I could write a novel too... I just need to organize myself a little better...

    Happy Woman's day to you too ;)

  5. I like what you mom did the best she could with what she had been raised. That's huge. Take gentle care Launna....wishing you a beautiful weekend.

  6. I didn't know it's actually international Woman's Day, I thought we celebrate it only in Romania, silly me. Well, live and learn :)

    That was such a lovely "letter" to your mom, very touching and inspiring.

    Have a wonderful week end, dear Launna

  7. Thank you Nikki.... I can't judge my mother... she really did the best with what she knew...

  8. Thank you Petro.... I wish I remembered more of my mom... I have lots of memories after I was 15... my mother was always to remain the same.... kind and loving...

  9. What a beautiful tribute to your mom Launna. This was really touching...

  10. Thank you Keith.... my mother was an amazing woman:-)


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