What I remember growing up was my mom encouraging me to use my imagination. On our fishing vacations, Dad and I would be out there with our poles and Mom would sit nearby with a book. She might not be in to fishing, but she was always hanging out with us oohing and ahhing over our catches.
Mom is the oldest of three girls and when World War II broke out, she enlisted in the marines, just barely squeaking by the height requirement and when the doctor told her a slightly curved spine would keep her out, she told him her father had no sons and she felt it was up to her. She got in and went to Cherry Point, NC where she worked in the motor pool. There’s my tiny red-haired mom getting all greasy and dirty and also on the bowling team. And to this day, she hears from friends she made there. She was on the bowling team and what I always considered the absolute best part, she went out with Tyrone Power’s crew chief. Mom rolls her eyes whenever I say that, but I think it’s cool. Mom’s also a charter member of the Women in Military Service America Memorial. When our Romance Writers National Conference was held in DC friends and I went to Arlington and visited the memorial and was able to print out Mom’s profile, which I brought back to her.
Mom worked most of my life and from her I learned to be independent, to speak my mind (although usually a good idea to think first about what I was going to say) and that there was no fashion crime for a redhead to wear pink or red and back then people would say not a good idea. No wonder I wore a lot of pink and red while growing up!
Mom has a strong personality and I’m sure it came from my grandmother whom I never had a chance to know and her military training. Even with her job, she was always there for me. Maybe because when I was born, her bosses set up a nursery in the supply room for me, so between hanging out in a construction office with her or in an aircraft hanger when picking my Dad up at Burbank Airport, I had a lot of opportunity to meet varied personalities. No wonder I love to write.
She’s always there for family and friends. She’s adopted all my friends as her own and I know I wouldn’t be who I am today without her.
So, Happy Mother’s Day Thelma Randall, who I just call Mom. Thanks for always being there for me.