Mom’s Anniversary

January 8, 2021 is the 10th anniversary of my mother’s death. Helen Louise Anderson Doherty was born at home in Elizabeth, New Jersey on September 10, 1923.  She spent most of her life in New Jersey, and her later years in Vermont and Florida.

Mom was the third child and second daughter of Anna Pavlosk and Clarence Anderson.  She was probably the least liked of her siblings since she was selfish, a tattletale and had a cruel streak.  Mom loved her mother, hated her father, and these emotions were formative in the development of her character.

I have my mother to thank—and I do sincerely—for all the family photos, items, and stories she passed on to me.  I cherish them.  From her, I inherited my love of antiques, family history and heritage, doing kindnesses for others, and alcoholism. 

When I was growing up, she had me light candles for all my relatives in Purgatory.  Considering my family, they were probably relieved to get stuck in Purgatory instead of heading straight to a warmer place.  I have a Mass said for my mother on the anniversary of her death; and receive communion for her on her birthday and at Christmas. I hope this is a solace and support to her, the best expression of love and gratitude I can do. Shortly before she died, she said that she had seen her sister, Ruth, and her brother, Ernest, who had predeceased her. Where is she?  I don’t know.  I hope she is at peace in the company of those she loved.

Mother is buried near her favorite sister, Florence, and my dad, Eugene Nason Doherty, in Rosedale Cemetery in Linden, New Jersey, about five miles from where she was born and grew up.

Aunt Florence, Mom (right)

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By Karen