My mother owned what being a lady means

Published 9:45 am Monday, August 7, 2017

This past Sunday just didn’t feel right from the moment I awoke. I thought maybe I was getting sick. I dragged around the house. I was cranky and irritable. My washing machine broke and I shed a tear. Weird, right?

Then I slept most of the afternoon and woke up at 10 p.m. I started to think about this column and what topic I should write about and looked at the calendar to see if there was an upcoming event or something that I could put my 2 cents in. Then I saw the date — Aug. 6.

It would have been my mother’s 87th birthday.

Email newsletter signup

I knew it was coming up and in all honesty, I thought the sixth was on Monday for some reason.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, my subconscious knew and it mourned. I wasn’t sick. I wasn’t hormonal. Deep down in the depths of my heart and mind, I was just sad.

Before realizing the date, I ended my Sunday with watching the latest “Game of Thrones” episode where the Mother of Dragons lashed out at her enemies while riding on the back of one of her children — a fire-breathing dragon.

My mom didn’t raise dragons, but she did raise three children and if she could fly on a dragon to burn down anyone trying to hurt us she probably would have, as long as she could remain ladylike while doing it.

In today’s world, a woman owning being a “lady” is often looked down as backward, and at the least, not very politically correct in a world where women are still fighting for equal rights.

My mom wasn’t a stay-at-home, cooking and cleaning mother. She worked and worked hard along side of her husband, whom she doted on. Not because she had to, but because she wanted to.

She never left the house without her lipstick applied, eyebrows painted and nose powdered. She never walked around the house in pajamas unless it was to make her nightly cup of tea before bed and even then, she always wore a robe. She seldom did “non-lady-like” things like pass gas or burp. (I still don’t understand how she managed that.) She used a handkerchief when she cried. She had her hair done every week at the salon.

She was a true lady every day of her life and call it what you will, and no matter how un-PC of me it is to say it, I will always admire that about her. Being a lady doesn’t just mean being proper. To me, and to her, it meant being the rock that kept our family together. It meant teaching us manners and what it meant to care for others. It meant making sure my clothes were clean and fit me properly. It meant making sure every birthday and holiday were special and spent with family.

She wasn’t just a woman or a mother — she was truly the lady of the house.

Alyssa Schnugg is Senior Writer at the Oxford Eagle. Email her at