My Mother Never Worked

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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. 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...
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