I want to disclose that I have never met Mrs Carpenter. I have never met Richard Carpenter. The only impression I have of Mrs Carpenter is from the 1989 TV-Movie. Now the role was played by Louise Fletcher, and Louise she was great. Now 20 years later however I think the movie was not kind to Agnes Carpenter.
The movie showed her as almost unloving. The scene that most people remember from the movie is in which Karen was getting help for her eating disorder Mrs Carpenter thought "it was ridiculous that she and her family flew 2000 miles just to tell Karen that she loved her". The scene made her look like she had no love at all for her daughter. However most people forget that maybe the scene most likely never happened. It was after all a movie based on the Carpenter's and not a documentary.
Now what I want to get across is that mother & daughter relationships have lots of bumps in the road. The Carpenter women I am sure were no different.
Note that Mrs Carpenter grew up and was married before the women right movement cam about. She was a product of her time and I think she was the best parent that she could of been.
Please remember that when you see the Karen Carpenter Story and the scene pops up when Mrs Carpenter refuses to say "I love You". If that scene is true this is why I think she didn't.
*For Years she and the family were trying to get Karen to eat. Karen had anorexia and when Karen had it hardly anybody at that time have ever herd any Tye of eating disorders. By the time Karen was getting help Mrs Carpenter had been trying to help Karen for years to eat. So she was feed up. You don't try to help for year unless you do love them.
*Mrs Carpenter loved Karen very much. She was very supportive of her. She did buy KAren all of those band instruments including drums when at the time she was against a girl playing the drums.
*When Karen and Richard were performing (before they were famous) who took them to those events? Well it was Agnes Carpenter.
*Mrs Carpenter was shown as being mad when Karen wanted to move away from home at age 24. Well did you go to think that Mrs Carpenter didn't want Karen or Richard to fall prey to bad influences? By wanting them to stay home she wanted them to still have a moral compass. Gee that sounds like Love to me.
*Mrs Carpenter was shown in the movie of not caring about her daughters success. That might be true but I think she wanted to show her now grown children that she loved them for them. not because they were now rich and famous.
* Mrs Carpenter was the best mother she could be. I am sure Karen was trying to be the best daughter she could be.