When our four children were little, Michael, Esther, Elizabeth (who was Betsy when little) and Stephen, it was such fun to see what they would make in school or church for Mother’s Day! A mother always enjoys the art work or plaques or flowers that are put together through the assistance of teachers. These days, Mother’s day is different. Our four children have grown up, left for college and now live in faraway places. But it is always good to hear their voices when they call on Mother’s Day.
But I remember how my mother used to enjoy the children so much when they were little, At least she adored Michael and Esther and their cousins Tim and Jeff, as she passed away when they were all preschoolers. She’d wake up from coma in the hospital when she heard the sound of little voices enter her hospital room, and the nurses allowed them in because of the effect on her.
Her parting wasn’t unexpected, even when I was 17 and graduating from John Marshall High School (which no longer exists) iin Minneapolis, Minnesota, she had reached the end of the six months of life the doctor’[s had predicted for her when she was diagnosed as having systemic lupus. It was a new malady at that time and treatment for autoimmune illnesses weren’t known. Amazingly, she lived thirteen years longer! Finally, treatment options had run out, and the Lord called her home. Together with my two younger sisters and an Irish uncle, I was with her every day during her final five weeks in the hospital.
She had been single for the past 23 years, giving her total time and attention to raising three girls. Except for dinner in a restaurant when one of her five sisters had a birthday to celebrate, she had no other social life. Back in those days, even in sixth grade, none of my classmates knew what a “divorce” was or why we lived with mother, grandparents and aunt, and hadn’t seen our father for years.
In sixth grade, however, mother’s saving and job as an administrator in a union health program allowed purchase of a neat little green three bedroom house in a quiet tree lined neighborhood on Elm Street, Our new home was only five blocks from Grandma Hudson’s home and two blocks from Uncle John and Aunt Vera’s home. It became my job to take care of my youmeger sisters, and see that the house was cleaned and dinner started after school each day.With no brothers, it was also my duty to mow the lawn, shovel the sidewalk and be carpenter’s helper when Uncle John needed shingles on the roof, aying tile in the basement rec room, or doing repairs.
A mother with a full time career was definitely an oddity in a world where the “Beaver” came home to his mother in the kitchen daily, Where a mother wasn’t home, Aunt Bea would be there to care of Opie! Single mothers are more common these days, and mothers with jobs outside the home, also. We sometimes forget the huge undertaking that they are attempting in being there to guide and direct their children while shouldering all the responsibilities of bringing home the bacon and cooking it too. I could take care of ten or twenty children fo the day but I’d have been really sad to have left my children to go out to work. The goal to see children safely raised was our goal, in a world often seeming to work against the raising of wise and responsible children. Those mothers deserve our appreciation and commendation today! they can also use a helping hand on occassion!
Raising the child from infancy through the toddler years sometimes seems as if it will last forever, but as all us older grandma’s tell those young mothers, “enjoy them while they are little.” Before long they’ll be off to college or brides walking down church aisles, or perhaps even astronauts in flight to the moon. The world is changing so fast all around us. My mother was a very special lady, and even though she hasn’t been here to talk to or to share the joys of her grandchildren, still she helps me in the day to day things she taught me to do and her hopes of what we’d achieve with our lives. I miss my mom even now, 35 years since she left.
So if your mother is still on earth for you to thank, Be sure to take time off this weekend to give her a call, pay her a visit, or find a way to thank her for the impact that she made in your life. You don’t remember the countless times she changed your diapers, fed and clothed you day by day, cared for you when sick as well as healthy and taught you social graces, but where would you be if she hadn’t done those things? Us mothers have human frailties, and always wish we could have helped our children more, but you are our joy and we will love you for all of our life.
Happy Mother’s Day to every Mother, Grandmother and person mothering children! You are great and lthe lives of the children are certainly blessed by your loving care!!!