Foolishly, I clipped many issues to save on space and to ease back to back moves. Now, thanks to eBay, I am missing only three issues which includes the Holy Grail, the Premiere Issue, currently selling for $75.00! I may never own that one but thankfully a friend does I can "visit" it often.
I read that Premier issue when it first came out but I did not really see the appeal. I was a new mother and felt more kinship with Mothering, Child and Parenting. But life turned a corner for me in 1987 and Victoria became a talisman, a guide for living.
I suddenly became a single parent when my daughter was a baby. A time of bright happiness abruptly turned dark. I was bereft. My first holiday without a husband was Thanksgiving and I was dreading it. Knowing it would be difficult, my mother arranged for me to meet her at a hotel where I would leave my car and join her for a ride to my brother's family celebration.
I arrived at the hotel frantic. One of the challenges of being a single mother, I was learning, was the maneuvering and management of baby paraphernalia as well as baby. To make matters worse, I left my handbag on the roof of the car and drove over it as I was leaving home. Then the baby woke up and cried and fussed all the way to the hotel.
My mother was there waiting for us and immediately assessed the state of mind of her two "girls". She told me to wait in the passenger seat of her car. Mom then unhitched the baby from the car seat and the car seat from the car. She grabbed the diaper bag and the pie I was contributing to my brother's Thanksgiving table. As soon as all were ensconced in the car, the baby blessedly fell into an exhausted sleep. Mom took out a magazine out from a basket on the car floor and said, "I bought you something pretty and I want you to sit back, relax, and read this nice book. It's the sweetest thing I've ever seen". I wiped the long tears that kept escaping from my eyes as I opened Victoria.
As I turned the pages of that Winter issue, something began to happen. I felt a tickle of perhaps not happiness, but lightheartedness as I saw sweet pairs of pastel baby mittens. "I can knit those", I thought. I turned a few more pages and saw a scrumptious dish and thought, "This will comfort me when I make dinner alone", I saw a garnet bracelet that looked familiar and realized I had one just like it, inherited from my grandmother and lying patiently in my jewelry box. I began to make plans again.....
Of course, I was terribly sad when Victoria stopped publishing. But now I have made my life a Victoria. I know this every time I take time to write a real letter to my mother, arrange flowers in a vase, tie a silk scarf over my sweater, or don my grandmother's garnet bracelet.