Saturday, May 12, 2007

My Mother and Me

My mother was barely 19 when she gave birth to me, her oldest daughter, in an old country house with three aunts acting as midwives at my birth. She had a hard labor and I was not expected to make it. If it were not for the tireless caring of my aunts, I probably would not have survived.

The most precious memories of my mother was her dependability in my growing up years. She was always there for me and my two sisters. Often she was alone during the week as my dad worked away on construction jobs, and I know she was often scared, but she tried so hard not to pass her fears on to us girls. If we showed fear in the middle of the night, she would come lie with us until we fell asleep to make us feel secure. She grew up very poor, so her greatest delight was to be able to give us things she herself was never able to have. She loved dolls and was so delighted to save up to give us dolls at Christmastime. I remember her sitting with me for hours cutting out paper dolls. I think she loved it as much as we did. The only time we ever got new clothes or shoes was at the beginning of school, and she chose our clothes so carefully (most of them ordered through the catalog). We also had an aunt who sewed for us and she always made the very same dress for all three of us not wanting to make a difference. We have so many pictures of all 3 of us dressed alike!

My mother was always my greatest confidante. I shared everything with her, especially during my high school years. I would come in at the end of the day and sit at the kitchen table answering questions about how my day went. Mom stood up for us in our desires and wants when Dad was reluctant to spend the money on prom dresses or special occasions. She somehow made a way for us to have the desires of our hearts. Her favorite holiday was and still is Easter. She loved to dress us up in the frilliest of dresses with hats and gloves and black patent leather shoes. We have such fond memories of Easter egg hunts and Mom's special Easter coconut cake which became a tradition at Easter. At every birthday she decorated a special cake for each of us girls, and she was known for making special decorated cakes for older folks in the community.

She was one of the hardest workers I have ever known. Besides keeping her house spotless for us, she gardened every summer and canned and preserved garden food to keep us well fed during the winter months. When I was growing up, she always wore dresses with a fresh apron on every day. She ironed and starched all of our clothes, especially the dresses with big frilly bows that tied in the back. We were always so proud of our starched bows!

I have so many special memories of Mom when I was a young girl. Mom is now 85 years old. She has had a very hard five or so years taking care of my dad during his very feeble last years. Dad passed away last March and Mom still misses him terribly. They were married 66 years. Mom is so thin and frail, but still possesses that strength inside that somehow overcomes her fears and uncertainties that face her. Dick and I always find great joy in coming to be with her during the six months of spring and summer to help with her many projects around the house. She is still a very proud woman who wants things to be as she remembered in her early years.

She is my special friend and I thank God for her and the sacrifices she made for me all my life. I love to spoil her now and want her to know as long as I am alive, she will be secure. More importantly, I want her to know the peace that only God can give her.

I love you, Mom! Happy Mother's Day!


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