Thursday, February 4, 2010

Annette Carolyna Corkish

Annette Carolyna Corish & George J. Hartmann Jr on their Wedding day June 25th 1949.

It is interesting to me, how I don't always remember things right and I was there and remember the painful event very clearly. So I guess you can say that primary sources can be inaccurate, especially if the event is stressful. For years I have been telling people my mother died on the 5th of February and my Mom on the 6th of February. While scanning pictures today I found an Obituary book mark of my Mom's with the date as February 4 1965 on it. So I stand corrected. Today's post is in memory of my Mom. Officially she is a step-mother and she legally adopted me. Emotionally she is my Mom, the only Mom I knew.

What kind of a women was she? She was a kind, good, patient woman, but I could make her lose it. Sad to admit that even thought I lived with her until I was almost 17, my memory of her is a little cloudy. I wish I knew her better but when you are in the angst of being a teenager, things like knowing who your mom is not very important.

Some of the things I do remember are she like the beach, the park, she wanted me to be a well rounded person, she was very mindful of proper etiquette, always reminding me to watch my p's and q's. I remember when I was 15, my parents sent me on a trip to Long Island New York to visit my mother's sister and brother. They always encouraged me to have a relationship with my mother's family. Anyway I had to iron my pj before I went because Mom didn't want any of the family back home to think we were backwards since we had moved to Fort Lauderdale Florida from New York. She wanted me to make a good impression. Believe me when I say I have never iron pjs since. We moved to Florida in 1959.

She was a Registered Nurse and she did not want me to be a nurse, because it was very hard work. She use to come home from work so exhausted that she would take her uniform off, roll down her white nylons (that was before panty hose) and sit in the chair in her slip with her stockings around her ankles and just collapse. When we lived in Whitestone NY, we kids would hang out in the empty lot and play until her bus brought her home from work and we would all walk home together. She was an Army nurse during World War II but would never speak to me about it, but promised to tell me more when I was an adult. We never had that conversation. I think she severed in the Philippines. She was also one of the nurses that took care of my mother while she was dying of breast cancer.

Here are a couple of pictures about a month after they were married. I was 17 months old in these pictures. My Dad made the photo albums and wrote all the comments. About 10 years ago I thought it would be a good idea to make a new book. Don't ask me why, I wished I hadn't, expect that these pages are easier to scan, than the book would have been but I miss his handwriting.

My Dad asked her to marry him on St. Patrick's day and they were married in June. They had three boys, George, Donald, & Edward.

She use to curl her hair making pin curls and pining down with two bobbie pins crossing each other. She used C as her middle initial for Corish not Carolyna. She pushed me to be better than I wanted to be at that time. Made me take tennis lessons, which I hated, took as an adult and liked it a little better but not much. If I had been reading too much, I would lose myself in books she would say, "Mary it's time to go outside and dust the cobwebs off." She really wanted me to have a good education and believed in the importance of being well educated. When I was in high school I wanted to go to the public high school and not the Catholic one I was in, but she won't hear of it. She became a Catholic to marry my Dad. She wanted me to be friends with everyone and not to be judgmental.

My Dad would say she wasn't the typical New Englander, I'm not sure what he meant by that. She was from Nantucket Island and I use to love to go see her parents there, we could walk to the beach. Grandma would only let me play the piano, because I didn't pound it like my brothers. Her Dad was a Whaler. She went to nursing school in Boston and sometime after the war moved to New York. I don't know that story at all, but I'm glad she did, so she could meet my Dad.

I can remember when she was sick from her cancer, she had Colon Ca, and at one time had brain tumors from her cancer. I walked into her room and she was dividing the amount of powder in her dilantin capsule so the dose would be lower. So like a nurse to self medicate. It was I who witnessed her first seizure that diagnosed that brain tumor while my Dad was at work. Talk about a scary event that was it. It took the doctor a long time to convince me it wasn't my fault. She and I had just had an argument about something she heard me say to a friend that she didn't like.

Well I'm looking to forward to seeing her again in the next life and getting to know here better.


  1. A beautiful tribute; you really bring her "stern love" alive. I especially loved the part about ironing PJs.

  2. Wow, that's a beautiful tribute to your mother. It sounds like you know (and remember) much more than you are giving yourself credit for! Hold on to those memories. You will see her again, one day.


  3. Mary, This is just as good as the story of your Mother! How blessed you've been... two mother's who have loved your dearly!
    What a testament you are to that!