It's Monday ... again! And time to join Retired not Tired to go back in time and re-live some of our favorite memories and people!
A sweet, simple, naive, kind, gentle, patient and loving woman.
So many ways to describe her.
Teacher, defender, the one who was always there for my sister, brother and me. She spent hours making our clothes, cooking, doing backbreaking work under difficult conditions without the conveniences we now have. A farm house with wood stove, no electricity or running water; later, wringer washing machine, clothesline, no dishwasher, canning, no vacuum, things probably most every woman dealt with in the 50's.
She made our clothes
Whatever we needed, she would do.
I can tell you I never heard my mother complain.
She loved to sing and play piano, and work her beautiful flower beds. She could also stretttcccchhhh a dollar, as they say! She couldn't drive until I was eight, so when my sister and I were very young, shopping with her was an all day event. We walked to the streetcar which would take us downtown where we would visit the bank, go to Kress' and have lunch at the counter there. She always bought us some little special thing which we would be so excited to show Daddy when he came home. An afternoon daily ritual was to get herself and my sister and I "cleaned up" to meet him at the door.
She rescued me from our burning house when I was a baby. What she taught me about Jesus always brought me back to the right path. Her examples of prayer and faith, faithfulness and loyalty stand out in my memory. Always a smile and a kind word for others. (She told me I was beautiful.) She had a reputation for never gossipping.
(Mama did have a sneaky side, though! ;-) She confessed to us many years later one of the funny things she did sometimes was pull out our roller skates after we had gone to school ... and skate on the driveway!!! We thought that hilarious!)
When I was a teen, we found out that behind that gentle, sweet heart was a very competitive and determined lady. As most of us do, she had put on a little weight over the years. A friend told her about and encouraged her to join a group called TOPS - take off pounds sensibly.
Each week they met to see who had shed the most pounds. The winner's prize? A pretty little ceramic figurine! For the loser? A pair of huge red bloomers which would have to hang out on the loser's clothesline the following week. Anyone caught NOT displaying those bloomers would be put to shame the next week. Well, she wasn't having any of that, so she brought home the prize every week to proudly display on our piano until she lost 75 pounds!
And having been a homemaker all of our growing up years, she also decided she wanted to earn a little money and went to work part time in the school cafeteria. My Dad wasn't thrilled with this, but she loved being with the other moms working there and getting to be with young people.
Mom had to leave high school to help on the farm after her Dad lost his leg in a mowing accident. Until she told us she wanted to study for her GED, we hadn't realized how much having a HS degree meant to her. After passing the GED test and getting her official diploma, she applied herself to learning how to type on the old typewriter my Dad had given us.
She was so excited when the principal of the school where she worked recommended her for an office job. She later moved to working with special-ed kids at another high school, and progressed to an administrative position in the Education Service Center. She looked forward every day to working and loved the people with whom she worked. Even after learning she had cancer, she kept it secret because she feared someone might think she could not do her job! How sad.
Selfish kids we are when we are young.
I remember at the end of the day,
all Mama asked from us was for someone to rub her feet.
(Wah, we didn't always "feel" like doing that.)
She passed away 27 years ago after one of the most courageous fights
against cancer I ever witnessed.
How I miss her. It would be a privilege to be able to rub her feet again.
The joy of her life in her last years were her grandchildren.
It was a disappointment to us that she did not get to see them grow up.
How I love you, Mom.
I look forward to seeing you again one day.
February 19,1930 - August 28,1987
|Uncle Sonny, Aunt Gerry and Mom|
growing up in Oklahoma City
|1947 with parents, brother Sonny, and baby sister Nancy|
|August, 1981 left to right, my aunt Gerry, me, Granny, |
Mom and Aunt Nancy
|Summer 1982 Nana Betty with her first grandchild, Robyn|