A Tribute to Mom
Sunday, May 13, 2012
My mom married at the tender age of 15; my dad was 21. They were married by a Justice of the Peace, and my mother wrote the number 18 on a piece of paper and put it in her shoe, so she wouldn't be telling a lie when the Justice asked her if she was over 18. Daddy said that she couldn't boil water without scorching it, but she managed to become a very good cook.
Her family wasn't too thrilled about the marriage and, with my dad in the service, things had to be hard for her. We moved to Colorado when I was four--and one of four children at that point--away from their families. Kids were expensive even then, yet my mother (with her 8th grade education) was a stay-at-home mom. She took in ironing and sewing; she made most of our clothes. I'm not so sure I really appreciated all that she did for us then; raising kids can help to put all that in perspective.
My parents struggled, but they survived and their love for each other was a gift to me and my siblings. My mother was diagnosed with leukemia in the mid 80's and the doctors believed that she had maybe five years. She lasted nearly twice that long, four days after my dad--the love of her life--passed away. She never spoke another word, ate another morsel, or drank another drop after Daddy died.
I think in many ways I'm like Mom; in other ways I wish I were more like her, although there were times earlier in my ife when the thought of being like my mom caused me to cringe. She taught me that people were more important than things. She believed spending time with us kids was more important than worrying about a clean house. She was a woman of faith, and that faith was lived out in her life and fostered in ours. From her I learned the importance of flexibility--few things really are unable to be changed--and change is not bad, though perhaps a bit inconvenient. One thing that I failed to latch on to was her sense of self: she knew who she was and was unapologetic. She was smart, industrious, loving, and faithful.
I was but 49 when Mom and Dad died. I know many have lost parents much earlier in their lives, but many my age still have one (or both) parents still living. I didn't tell her often enough that I loved her, but I think she knew--at least most of the time. Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I miss you and I love you!