10/22/2008

Big Mama


Big Mama, collage, e. schoettler
Talking with my sister Kathy today.
"Where is your small pox vaccination scar?" she asked.
I had to think a minute.
"On my leg. On the outside of my leg, at the hip. "
"Mine is too, and so is Lynda's."
"That's how they did it when we had them. For girls anyway."
She corrected me. "no, that's not how they did it - for everybody.
Mama made sure that's how we had ours done."
It triggered a memory. Kathy went on.
"Don't you remember. She said she had such an ugly small pox vaccination scar on her arm that she made them do it on our legs - so that her girls could wear sleeveless blouses."
"That's right. I had forgotten. Hey I like that - we are different - thanks to Mama."
I miss Mama. Every day I think of something I want to tell her or ask her. I want to call her. I guess that feeling will always be there. But her number is disconnected.
Finding this memory about the small pox vaccinations adds another scrap to my memory quilt- reminding me how Mama looked out for us. And that feels good - connected.
What about your small pox scar? Are we right in thinking this is something Mama thought up -
do other people have it in different places?

6 comments:

Kate Dudding said...

Dear Ellouise,

My tiny scar is on my upper arm.

Hugs,
Kate

John said...

I've known several girls over the years who've had smallpox vaccination scars on their thighs. Some of them were quite large. (Some as large as a quarter or so in dia.) My sisters and myself were all done on our upper left arm. (Of course mine was the largest!) Most unusual place I was ever awair of were on a couple of sisters from Brazil who had them on their calves. Were obvious any time they wore dresses. (Which was most of the time.) John

Sean said...

left, upper arm. fascinating memory and touching connection to your memories. thanks.

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