Hyattsville-based artist Crisley McCarson (pictured above) has loaned her beautiful work, in the form of paper doll cutout clothing, to the Maryland Women's Heritage Center. The piece, created in memory of her mother, titled "Remembering Mom," is pictured below. McCarson's piece sets an inspiring and touching tone to the Maryland Women's Heritage Center's gallery of Unsung Heroines.
As she wrote,
There are many things I remember about Mom. She passed away about five years ago and I still miss her very, very much. My memories bring me happiness for what was, sorrow for what was lost and longing for the past. I wish I could give her one more hug and kiss!
Mom wasn't much for saying the words "I love you" but she sure showed me her love through actions. As a child, I was a bit of a handful; I was strong willed without realizing the consequences. So parenting me required a delicate balance of patience and humor from Mom.
She was a great homemaker. Even though Mom worked part time as a local school librarian, she had breakfast for us every morning, a lunch to take to school and always cooked a dinner.
She made her liver and the best French fried onion rings when dad was away on business; helped pack my bag when I "ran away" (once around the block); and sewed many Halloween costumes, ballet outfits, and fancy dresses for special occasions (two of which I still have). As a derailed teen, she would manage to get me back on track and negotiate my way with Dad. She always wanted to help me do my best but never was overly controlling or demanding.
After our mom passed away, my sister and I went through her clothes to give them to Goodwill. Most items had no special meaning but there were a few of her favorites: a blouse and a sweater on which she embroidered little flowers and a blue plaid skirt. Mom also enjoyed wearing colorful beaded necklaces. These few things are in my closet as gentle reminders. Making paper cutouts of these pieces helped me deal with my grief.
As I have gotten older and watch my grown daughter raise her children, I recognize that we both have many of mom's qualities. At first, this realization surprised me and caused me to laugh to myself, but I quickly grew to relish those similarities as gifts from Mom.