My mother was a part of the Greatest Generation – those who held tightly to their spiritual beliefs, weren’t afraid to go to war to defend their country or to stay at home and work for the war effort – people cared about each other in a way that has long since disappeared.
She was only 20 years old the day after Pearl Harbor. At that age, many of our young people today, have never experienced the ravages of war. Many have lost their patriotism, given up on their country, are afraid to stand up for truth for fear of offending anyone. There is no longer a fear and awe of the One True God.
My mom would’ve been 95 today. I wish we could still be celebrating her birthday with her, but I treasure the precious memories she gave me.
My parents never had much materially. Dad held two or three jobs to make ends meet and my mom could stay at home and raise the family. We always had a Christmas tree – even if it was the last one on the lot. There were handmade ornaments, tons of tinsel and popcorn on a string to finish it off. Christmas cookies were made from scratch and decorated with great care. My sister and I were always beautifully dressed for the church active Christmas activities. Mom curled my hair with rags and transformed my naturally straight hair into lovely, golden locks, held tightly in place with a ribbon that matched my dress.
At times that hairbrush turned into a weapon. Though she never raised a hand to spank us, we knew that brush could do a pretty good job of scaring the pants off of us.
My mother was the most beautiful woman I knew. She worked at having perfect eyebrows until the day of her death. An eyebrow pencil was a regular resident in her purse and she often said, “don’t let me go to the hospital or die without my eyebrows.
She made the best soups with homemade dumplings and noodles – hand shredding vegetables and simmering the brew over the stove. She rolled dough for the noodles and placed the dough over the back of the kitchen chair and then cut it into yummy pasta.
I thought more of her as an older sister. Our twenty year age difference allowed that. She had an amazing faith and she and my dad made sure we had a Christian education, even though it meant more jobs for dad and a reluctant agreement that mom would work to help pay for it.
The most wonderful memory she gave me was to have a patient love. She showed that in her relationship with my dad, my sister and I, but she also was incredibly thoughtful and had a genuine concern for other people. I guess that’s what endeared her to everyone.
My mom, my daughter and granddaughter all have birthdays in December so this month is extra memorable for all of us. Mom taught me what Christmas really meant. It wasn’t the pretty dresses or presents – it was about sacrifice at the highest level. That was all I needed to know. She lived as a follower of Christ and as a servant of Him and others.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! SEE YOU IN HEAVEN.