I was single when the next doll was released through a "right to purchase" opportunity in a W Club lottery. I was just getting over a very bad divorce and had purchased my first home by myself, so I was quite short on cash. I remember telling Mama about the doll and saying how I hated missing the opportunity to enter the lottery; she told me to enter and she would pay for the doll as my house warming gift.
Mama was the most selfless person I've ever known. Being the mother of four children ages newborn to 6 years old was hard enough, but when we started school she began babysitting three children from our neighborhood to help pay for our school clothes, supplies, etc.
I remember when my father had an affair and Mama went to work in a factory so she could be more independent and take care of those four little children. She worked in that factory until all her children and grand children were grown. I don't remember ever wanting for a thing. She would work 2nd shift, get home at 11:30, check everyone's homework, and be up at 6:00 the next morning to get us all ready for school. I don't recall ever hearing her complain one time.
As an adult, I would fuss at my Mama because she would take her dinner money and donate it any time a hat was passed around for someone in need. She said the money was put to better use; she could grab a sandwich when she got home.
When I was in college, my best friend was gay. He was like a brother to me. He contracted AIDS as an adult and lived a few brief years before succumbing to the disease. When my mother passed, we were going through old bank receipts and I found where she had sent him a check every month until we lost him. I found notes from him to my mother, telling her how much she meant to him. No one in the family knew any of this was going on. She never told us. ("Doing something good for someone is reward enough!")
Today would have been my mother's 74th birthday. "Happy Birthday, Mama!" She died of cancer in 2010. I miss her every single day of my life. My mother believed she came into this world with nothing and planned to leave it the same way. What she did leave was a role model that I've aspired to but failed miserably at many times.
By coincidence, this week's Flickr theme doll is Jordan. I won the opportunity to purchase her, and Mama gave her to me for a housewarming present. She is one of the most important dolls in my collection.