A Mother’s Heritage

My mother is 97 years old this year and she’s passed on a wonderful legacy to me over the years.  Here are some of the “gifts” she has given me, in no particular order of importance:

1.  For teaching me the value of an good education, thank you, Mom.  Not only did you pave the way by being a role model in a day and age when many women didn’t go on to pursue a higher education, but you also showed me that learning doesn’t stop at a certain age.  Lifelong learning should be our goal.

2.  For passing on a love of animals to me, thank you, Mom!  You grew up loving your pets and that has never stopped.

You could remember the names of the horses and cows on the farm and told me so many marvelous stories of some of the real characters, like Grace, the trotter who thought she was better suited for a racetrack than pulling a farmer’s wagon.

You went to bat for me when I wanted pets as a child (when my dad really wanted no part of an animal in the house) AND you cared for my pets later on when I was overseas.

3.  For taking time out of a busy career to plan some great childhood parties, thank you, Mom!
I know you were often exhausted at the end of a long week of teaching but you always came through and somehow whipped up special times to celebrate my birthdays.

I STILL remember that one particular “Pioneer” party that we had when we made cornhusk dolls and Tommy Jacoby discovered that cats were using our sandbox as a cat litter box.

4.  For fostering my love of the farm, thank you, Mom!  You took me back to your childhood farm every summer where I spent magical months living a Tom Sawyer existence.  I grew so attached to that farm that I still cry whenever I think that it now belongs to someone else.

Luckily I was able to take my own children out to the farm for one visit before it was sold.  I know they will never understand the deep attachment that I have to it but my own daughter sensed it in a small way when she wrote me this note on the day we drove away from the farm –

5.  Thank you for indulging my imagination by helping me dress up in crazy costumes.  I went through quite a few stages as I grew up.  There was my “indian” phase.

Then there was my “Hans Brinker” phase when I wanted to be a little Dutch girl and have long, long hair.  Your nylons had to make do.

You even indulged me in junior high when I was going through my “Heidi” stage and wanted to live in the Alps. 

6.  For encouraging my love of reading from an early age, thank you, Mom!  I can’t imagine a life without books.  I’ve discovered so many wonderful worlds through reading.

7.  For showing me that it’s ok to be a little nutty, thank you, Mom!  Throughout my childhood and on into adulthood, you were endearingly screwball at the most inappropriate times.  I loved it and I owe my own zaniness all to you.

8.  For raising me to believe that it was ok to marry later in life, thank you, Mom.    I followed your role model and didn’t feel all that pressure to get married right out of high school or college like so many of my peers.  Because of this, I experienced so many great adventures before finding my partner in life and was truly ready to settle down without regrets.

9.  For teaching me to play piano, thank you, Mom!  You set me firmly on the road to loving music and it has been such a blessing over the years.

10.  For teaching me the value of friendship, thank you, Mom!  Your friends have always been important to you.  All of my life, you’ve been dragging me here and there to visit friends and relatives.  I might have complained at the time, but it demonstrated to me, nevertheless, what a loyal friend is like.

I think it is indicative of the type of friend you are, that the majority of your friends have remained friends for life.

11.  For modeling for me how a daughter should care for her mother when she is advanced in years, thank you, Mom!  I was watching you when Grandma could no longer live on the farm alone.  I saw how you interacted with her and how you included her in your daily life.  I observed the love you lived out in actions and how you cared for her, even when it wasn’t easy.  I hope that I am being that kind of daughter to you now.

12.  For modeling how to be a grandmother, thank you, Mom!  You were the only grandmother that my children knew.  Later, as my children were married, I knew that when the day came that I would have grandchildren of my own, I wanted to be a grandmother just like you.

13.  Last, but not least, for showing me the need for God in my life, thank you, Mom!   I don’t have a picture to show this but really, this is reflected in every picture I have of you, Mom.  Your faith  has been reflected in your entire life and I’m so grateful for having such a Godly mother.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Hot Flashed Funk

  • A beautiful tribute to your mom, Dee.


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