Chris Godkin D. Maggard English 1113, 323 19, September 2012 My Mother Never Worked In the story “My Mother Never Worked,” Bonnie Smith-Yackel recalls the time she contacted the Social Security service about her mother’s death benefits. At that time, Bonnie was put on hold while the Social Security worker searched through the files for the record of Martha Jerabek Smith. During the time she was waiting, Bonnie began to reminisce about the life of her deceased mother. As time goes by, the worker eventually returns to the phone.
The worker explains to Bonnie that she is not able to receive the death benefits of her mother due to the fact she never had recordable job. During the duration of the phone call with the Social Security worker, Bonnie seemed quite distraught in she was very slow to answer the questions of the worker. She took short pauses throughout her sentences before completing them. She was asked a few questions about her mother in relation to her name, age, Social Security number and if she was on Social Security. Bonnie told the worker that her mother was seventy eight and was on Social Security but she did not know the number.
The worker then placed Smith-Yackel on hold while she searched for Martha Jerabek Smith’s record. Bonnie then used that time to search through her mind and recollect the memory of her mother. Her mother graduated high school in 1913, as did her father the same year. Martha loved Ben F. Smith, Bonnie’s father, but was afraid of marriage. The thought of planning her wedding day, having children and just being a married woman made her nervous and sick. As the years went by, she overcame her worries and married her love, Ben F. Smith, and began farming.
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In January, 1922 Martha gave birth to her first daughter. Her second child, a boy, was born in March 1923. During this time, they were renting farms and working on other people’s farms to earn what little income they could. Martha learned to do a variety of tasks. Such as, tend to chickens and livestock, plant and harvest crops, and can fruits and vegetables. In September 1925, and again in June 1927, Martha gave birth to her third and fourth child- both daughters. In 1930, they reclaimed a forty-acre field. Her mother worked the fields day after day.
Harvesting and planting, tending to livestock, anything that needed to be done, she was able to do. A year later, a drought hit and dried up the soil, starving and dehydrating the crops. Only half of the crops were harvested that year. In February 1934, their fifth child, a daughter, was born. During the winters, Martha sewed coats and jackets, and remade clothes so they would fit the growing children. In 1937 she gave birth to her fifth daughter. In 1939, she bared her second son. In 1941, her third son and eighth child were born.
By then, she had thirty head of cattle which she milked daily. Shortly after, the Rural Electricity Administration and indoor plumbing had arrived. In 1959 her youngest child graduated. Though she was aging, Martha still worked every day out in the fields, making sure that everything was in order. Ten years later Martha and Ben were heading into town for sugar when they crashed into a ditch. Martha was severely injured and paralyzed from the waist down. In 1970 Ben F. Smith passed away. Martha had done her best to regain self-control and order in life.
It was over bearing for her to lose her husband and have to deal with the burden of paralysis. She attended a rehabilitation institute where she learned to be independent and self-sufficient in a wheel chair. Though she was in a wheel chair, she still worked every day. She canned fruit and vegetables, sewed coats and even made a quilt. A voice quickly caught Bonnie’s attention. It was the Social Security worker, she had found the file. She stated that Bonnie’s mother had been receiving a widow’s pension. Bonnie then agreed with the worker.
Then she stated that her mother is not entitled the Social Security service’s death benefit. Confused, Bonnie asked why her mother was not entitled. The worker said, “Well, you see – your mother never worked. ” The way the story ends is superb. It makes one think back to all the work that Martha did on the farm and in the home. In the eyes of the knowing, we see that she had in fact been working herself to the bone on a farm for most her life. In the eyes of the government, or the blind more or less, Martha had no official work history. Therefore she was unable to receive any benefits.
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to get full document. My Mother Never Worked Summary: This narration begins With a phone call, A phone call many people make after the death to a family member-the call to Social Security. As the narrator to this essay goes on hold she thinks about her mother’s life, starting from the time she graduated high school-she worked.
Chris Godkin D. Maggard English 1113, 323 19, September 2012 My Mother Never Worked In the story “My Mother Never Worked,” Bonnie Smith-Yackel recalls the time she contacted the Social Security service about her mother’s death benefits.
In Bonnie Smith-Yackel’s personal essay “My Mother Never Worked”, Smith-Yackel presents us with a situation where she describes her mother as a hard working woman. She starts the essay in the present time with a phone call to a social security office.
When Bonnie (author) finally gets reconnected the Social Security Worker, he has the audacity to tell Bonnie that “He’s sorry’ but her mother gets nothing, because she never worked. ” Response: Being a mom is one Of the hardest jobs in the world, this paper helped my belief of this fact.
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