Today is the day my mother was born back in 1936. It was the middle of the dirty thirty’s during the Great Depression. She was born in a small town in North Dakota in a hotel I believe she said. I didn’t even get it straight if it was with a mid-wife or a small town doctor. I don’t know if there was money for a doctor. My grandmother was single and to her death, my mother never knew who fathered her. She just knew that she and her mother were not good enough for him, and that bothered her most of her life. She was raised by her mother, her grandfather and for a time an uncle. Her aunts were also important in her life, but they eventually all married and had families of their own. My mother went to high school and then to college to be a teacher. She married our father when she was 20, and by the time she was 21, there I was. She did teach a few of the country schools in the area. By the time I was five, she packed me up and took me along to school. I was probably bored at home, because I was always causing trouble for the babysitter. Sometimes when someone says something about how I do things, I should realize it is likely pay back for the days I would call my grandmother and tell her what the sitter was up to and how bad she was. I deserved to be taken out of the house and at the least scolded if not paddled.
Our mother would have been 80 years old today. It was officially her 20th birthday, but she has been gone a few years. She was still living in her own home, but couldn’t get around that well. Fortunately everything she needed was all on one level. She spent her days reading, watching a little television, doing cross word puzzles and visiting when we would come over, which was usually for an hour or two after supper. She was a smoker until the day she died and we couldn’t convince her that the coke, cigarettes and her medications were not good for each other. As for food, I don’t know why we didn’t take better care to make sure she had a cooked meal. My sister Adie often took meals to her. I did rarely. I kept justifying to myself that it was good for her to get up and move around and cook for herself. So often she would be awake late into the night, and sleep during the day.
And what about getting her out and about. When we had to take that deck off. It really was falling apart and how would we have felt if she had stepped out without a railing and the boards would have let loose and she would have fallen through. But, why didn’t we take the time to rebuild it. We should have done better for her. Some days I look over at her house and feel like such an ungrateful child. Now that she is not there I know what is gone, what we don’t have. But I have no regrets for her. She was ready to go home to those who had gone before. She was ready to leave us to carry on. She knew we had grown, and she just so wanted to be with her family. I didn’t really cry until this year, but I need to remember she had us and we had her for so many years, some of us more than others. When she passed on she was able to finally spend time with her first son, my younger brother who left us at age four.
During the season of Lent for our evening services, our musician takes requests from the congregation. Last Wednesday in church one of the men asked for “What a Day that Will Be.” Oh what a great song and what a wonderful sentiment. What a day it will be when we are able to see Jesus, and be reunited with all those who we love who went on before. I look forward to the day when I will be able to take my mother’s hand and walk through that beautiful garden, just as she was able to do that day in January five years ago. We know she did because she was dreaming about it for a few days before she passed on. Happy Birthday Mom, even though you aren’t getting any older, we still love you and can’t wait to be with you again!!
Sorry the pictures aren’t the greatest. Taking a picture of a picture is not the best plan, but the only thing I was able to do today.