Saturday, May 9
MOTHER'S DAY 2015 My annual post for Mother's Day.Just a re-post of an article I wrote about my mother. It still shows her personality and we all still miss her.
A couple of years ago some magazine had a contest to write about my mother-my hero. I submitted this article. It was not chosen as a published article,but it seemed fitting to use as a Mother's Day Tribute. My mother died December 28,2008 and at this point I still have not been able to write about her as she deserves, but this gives you a picture of a woman who lived a full life. She was a follower of Jesus and her life showed that. I found this in her Bible and thought it is worth sharing.
I have to live with myself and so
I don't want to stand with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things I've done
I want to go with my head erect.
I want to deserve all men's respect;
For here in the struggle for fame and self
I want to be able to like myself.
I don't want to look at myself and know
That I'm bluster and bluff and empty show:
I never can hide myself from me
I see what others may never see:
I know what others may never know.
I never can fool myself and so,
Whatever happens I want to be
Self-respecting and Conscience free.
I want to comment on this by saying that she certainly fulfilled this desire.
MY MOTHER-MY HERO I open the door of her Florida mobile home, and she calls out, “I’m in here.” “Here” is the computer chair in her living room where I often find her when I stop to visit. This morning my ninety year old mother is on Instant Message with her grandson (my son) in Montana . As I stand waiting, he sends a message. “Show Grandma where to get pictures. I want her to see my hunting trip and my sunrise picture.” He never once doubts that she will be able to save them. He sends them, but she really doesn’t need me. She has already figured it out.
It is this attitude that makes her a hero to all her family, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. New things are exciting to her. Her positive attitude throughout her life has been an example to all those who know her.
As a child, I remember our home was always full of my father’s brothers and sisters and even their children. Sometimes all of eight of them; sometimes just one or two at a time. I can never remember living in a home without several extra people that my mother was “mothering.” Some stayed for a week; some for a month; some until they graduated from school or married. As long as they needed her, they were made welcome. And never did I hear her complain about extra laundry, extra meals, or extra people.
When my son was young, she was his favorite fishing partner. Once, the two of them traipsed off to a local fishing tournament and returned home with a simple plastic trophy. In my mother’s eyes, it was an Olympic Gold Medal, and Mitch felt as important as any super athlete. And at fifty, he still wants to share his triumphs and “trophies” with her. Grandma Betty still makes him feel like a star.
She found strength to attend basketball games for a great-grandson even when she physically needed help to sit on the bleachers, but it is important that she support her family. Besides she loves the game of basketball. Really her favorite sport is baseball and the Chicago Cubs rate high on her list of television viewing; however, if Tiger is on she switches channels.
When my young daughter needed a new dress, a dance costume or a cheerleading skirt, my mother was the seamstress. “Grandma Betty will do it” became a standard phrase in our family. And when wedding time arrived for each of these grandchildren, Grandma Betty sewed bridesmaids’ dresses and made the flower arrangements. After my children married, their spouses quickly realized that “Grandma Betty” is special. Neither of our in-law children had grandmothers when they married into our family, so she is Grandma to both of them.
Recently she flew alone from Florida to Illinois to attend her great-grandson’s wedding. “I have never seen such a wedding; I’m so glad I came.” Not one word of complaint, only joyful and positive comments as she watched the bride and groom ride from the church on four-wheelers and dance these “new-fangled” dances at the reception.
She always shares her talents. Numerous young women learned to sew while she was the leader of their 4-H club. Many children in her rural neighborhood though now adults still refer to “Grandma Betty” in a very personal way. And still, at the age of ninety, she teaches an oil painting class to her peers, takes china painting lessons, is treasurer of her computer club and manages to be active in the organizations in her retirement park. Each Christmas her grandchildren and great-grandchildren receive hand-painted china ornaments from Grandma Betty. The wedding couple received a personalized hand-painted china plate for a wedding present signed in gold-“Grandma Betty.”
Her artistic talent is well-known, but she is better known for her positive attitude and her strong will to do what is right. I often tell her she is “no fun at all to gossip with.” She refuses to listen to anything unkind about anyone. Her words are the old adage, “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” “But mother,” I will say, “this is the truth.” No matter. She shrugs her shoulders (which is her signal that the conversation is over.) “If it isn’t nice we don’t need to talk about it.” That ends the conversation. I have not known her to waver from this position in all my seventy years as her daughter.
Anyone who has lived ninety years has known sadness, and mother is no exception. Sickness and the death of her spouse, her son, a sister-in-law she had raised from her teen years, friends and siblings remain as poignant memories. Throughout these times her example is to do what needs to be done with quiet patience, courage and a strong faith in God. Grief is a private part of life and seldom does she succumb to “feeling sorry” for herself.
Each day she has Bible study, writes her diary entry, plans her breakfast and then she intends to have something to do each day. Staying busy, learning new things, keeping up with sports teams and local news, encouraging her family via the internet and her new cell phone and remembering the birthdays and anniversaries with cards she creates on her computer fill her days. I write with tongue-in-cheek that she does manage to find time for Bingo games with friends in her Florida environment.
Although I am a published author and have written many praises about many people, I still have not found the words to describe this strong, Christian woman who is such an example of the Proverbs 31 woman... my friend, my mother, my Hero.