A Memorial to Mom

Mom was born 19 days after the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and grew up in the Great Depression.  The family migrated from Gainesville, Texas to Oklahoma in search of a job.  Times were tough to say the least.  Her mother parted ways and Grandpa, Mom, and her three brothers northward.  He married again and a half- brother and sister were added to the family.  She ended up being the babysitter for the younger two.

Fast forward to the 1940’s.  Mom was now in high school and was a “straight A” student, of course.  She applied herself in everything she did.scan0003 This is her high school picture, “What a Babe!”.  My Dad figured this out and married her where he got the best end of the deal.  Mom was an industrious woman but with one interesting note: she never learned to drive a car.  In those days, a teenager did not automatically get a car on their 16th birthday.  People were broke back then but not “poor”.  Dad had to borrow some money just to get married, $25, I think.

Before I was born, Mom went to clean my dad’s mother’s house for her.  My brother was two and she had no transportation.  Grandma evidently did not have a vacuum cleaner so Mom walked to her house with my brother and a vacuum cleaner in tow.  She would carry my brother a few hundred feet then go back and get the vacuum cleaner left behind.  Mom was enterprising with the “cards she was dealt”.  Eventually she arrived at Grandma’s and cleaned the house.  Yep, the return trip required the same energy.  Her Love Language was “acts of service”.

Mom made the best of the situation we were in.  When I was three, we could not afford turkey at Thanksgiving so we had chicken noodle soup and were told it was turkey.  It tasted fine to me!

Things started improving in the mid 1950’s and we moved to Midwest City where I grew up.  We were the classic “Leave it to Beaver” household.  The TV series was easy to identify with.  Dad worked and Mom stayed at home and managed her two sons,,, who needed managing.  Mom was the moral compass of the family.  More than once would she washed out our mouths with soap when we tried out our wings with “cuss” words.  Though we didn’t know what they meant, we figured out that Mom didn’t like it.  She didn’t curse, smoke, or drink.  She was truly a handmaiden.

As my brother and I participated in most all sports, Mom was always involved.  She was the scorekeeper for my baseball team.  Her black eye from a foul ball was her badge of honor.  After that, she always sat behind the backstop out of harm’s way.  She would walk us down to the local swimming pool 5 blocks from the house for swimming lessons.  She would walk us to school (the same 5 blocks) everyday until each of us was old enough to make the trek on our own.  We walked everywhere during the week.  My brother’s drum lessons?  No problem!  Mom and my brother would take turns carrying the snare drum to the practice.  The drum case was too big for me at the time.  It seemed like it took forever to get to our destination.  Mom generated extra income by baby-sitting.  In the summer, we would have a house full of kids.  It made for a good baseball game everyday in the street.  More than one of these kids knew the Love Mom dished out.  She practically raised a few of them.

 scan0005    My dad started a new business with an uncle- a drive-in cafe.  At first, the two families alternated weeks of running the drive-in but that did not work out to well.  Dad bought my uncle out and Mom became the chief cook.  Twelve hour days over a hot grill became the norm for Mom.  Every night she laundered and ironed her uniform and our clothes as well.  They worked six days out of the week.  It was a tough life.  She still found time to bake and crochet.  This workload continued through my teenage years.

In the 1970’s, Mom was finally out of the food service industry and the grandkids came.  She loved to quilt and she was a “quilting machine”.  All of her quilts were done by hand.  Although she was an excellent seamstress, machine quilting just didn’t seem to be the thing to do.  She made quilts for each member of the family.  Each quilt was unique and hand stitched.  Baby quilts for the newborns, crocheted towels for the kitchens, and quilts for the beds.  The Love and warmth of Mom was everywhere.  Her reputation for quilting expanded.  Women would bring her material and pay for her handmade quilts.

When Grandpa was no longer able to live alone, Mom moved him into the house.  As a loving daughter, she took care of him in his final years.  She was always finding solutions to problems, many involved her sacrifice but she was happy to oblige.  If a loved one was ill, she would cook a meal, bake a pie, send a card of encouragement, and the list goes on.  Even at the age of 70, she was babysitting her great nephew.

After 29,532 days on this earth, Mom has return to spirit.  She is not gone, just transformed and resides in Heaven with her Lord Jesus Christ.  Our loss is Heaven’s gain.  Her acts of Love would fill several books.  More than one cousin has called her their favorite aunt.  She was a “Mom” to many of our friends.  She was always there for her sons and her husband.

scan0006     Mom, I Love You and I will miss You!

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