From the Parsonage...
From the Parsonage...
Mother’s Day is May 8 this year, and I’m thinking about my Mom, who passed away in May of 2017. She was an interesting lady, the youngest of 13 children, and always the “baby” of the family. We spent a lot of time together in my young adult years, and I used to be amazed at how young she seemed. In fact, it wasn’t unusual for people to mistake us for sisters. Now that I’m older, I realize that she really was young! She married my dad when she was just 17, and I was
born a year later. Dad was in the navy and Mom and I stayed with Grandma, so she didn’t even have to leave home when she was married. Sometimes, I look at her pictures from those years and think, “She really was just a baby!”
Of course, things changed when Dad was discharged and moved us from Grandma’s home in Maryland to his hometown of Middletown, Ohio. Our family grew over the next few years with the addition of my sister and brother, but even then, Mom definitely wasn’t the average, run of the mill, mom. I remember being so proud of her when I was growing up, because she was always the youngest and prettiest of all the moms I knew. And she didn’t spend a lot of time wearing a house dress, cooking, and cleaning either. Some of my main memories are of her in shorts and a tube top, covered with her favorite sunscreen, baby oil and iodine. It wasn’t odd for her to stop in the middle of the day, pack up her kids and some of the neighborhood kids, and head for the park for a picnic. The only thing for sure was that she would be waiting for Dad at home when he finished work.
For his part, Dad picked right up where Mom’s family left off. He was always protective of her and wanted to make her happy. Although he didn’t make a lot of money in those days, he wanted Mom to have the best of everything. We were actually the first family on our street to get a television set, and, as soon as the automatic washer and dryer came out, they were sitting in our basement. I think the most enjoyment Dad had was in picking out special gifts for Mom every birthday and Christmas. They were always amazing, and he loved packaging them so she couldn’t guess what she was getting.
After I graduated and left home, I lived within a few blocks of my folks, and Mom and I continued to spend lots of time together (after all, I was an adult now and we could like each other). We would go shopping, to the pool, and even to the grocery, especially after I had my own children. It was a wonderful relationship until Dad retired at age 50, and they decided to move south. That limited us to a few visits a year instead of a week, and I missed the chance to see Mom move into her Golden Years. She was still the same Mom though and even won a Gold Medal for swimming in the Alabama Senior Olympics when she was in her late 70’s.
Fortunately, after many years away, Dad wanted to move back to Ohio to be closer to his children. I was able to find them a house about 15 minutes away from me, and we resumed the closeness we used to have. For several years, they were able to spend time with their grandchildren and even great grandchildren, and Mom truly loved that. I can still see her setting up the tea set with the girls just like she did with me at Grandma’s house! I’m so glad we had those years.
When Mom and Dad had to go into nursing care before they passed away, one of the nurses told me Mom wasn’t like most of their patients, and they all got tickled at her, because she always did her hair and makeup every morning before she let Dad see her. Years ago, I used to joke and say that my Mom’s job was to be “cute” for my Dad. I guess some things never change!
“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you...”