Oh, Ann, your story means so much to me. I knew the book with speak to you. Even the stories of others who lost their mothers at different stages of life had something to offer me. I found myself in EVERY story in that book, and I knew you would, too.
I experienced much of what you mentioned here. My sisters left as soon as they could and I became the woman of the house, except I was a little girl. I juggled school and housework, laundry, and cooking. I did the grocery shopping. I could not participate in after-school activities because I had to be home to cook dinner. Saturdays were housework days.
But, I considered myself strong and independent, not knowing I was really sad and lonely.
I, too, appreciate knowing you. I like the way we've discovered out similarities as though peeling layers off an onion.
You aren't alone and neither am I.