My mom was my hero. No matter how lousy she felt – how tired or busy she was, I knew she was always available. She didn’t wear a cape – she didn’t fly – she didn’t have x-ray vision, (although I believe she had an extra pair of eyes in the back of her head) – she couldn’t leap tall buildings in a single bound, and she was easily recognizable from a bird or a plane. Still she was an amazing role model and I miss her even though she’s been gone for over ten years.
My mother came from life on the farm, but I don’t recall her ever talking about taking part in farming, but I do know she loved to climb and was quite acrobatic as a child. This may have led to her many years of suffering with back pain, but what fun she had as a kid.
She and her six siblings would grow up to be strong, independent adults, with faith beyond my comprehension. They suffered loss after loss in their family, but still remained strong. Born a few years before the Great Depression, she knew what it was to make sacrifices. Most mothers can attest to having to do so. She moved from the farm to attend high school in town, and did household chores in exchange for room and board.
She married at the age of 18, just a child by today’s standards. She gave birth to me two years later and my sister four and a half years after that. She and dad moved away from the small town to the big city, with hopes of finding better employment opportunities.
We lived on the top floor of a 4 story apartment building. She always wanted a home of her own, but that didn’t happen until later in her life.
She had an easy going nature, but also had moments of frustration raising me. I vividly remember her chasing me around the house with a hairbrush. She was determined to administer justice to my backside for some misdemeanor on my part. When she finally caught me, the brush cracked in half on the first whack. We both laughed and the disciplinary action was lost in it.
She spent hours and days at my father’s side as he suffered through chemotherapy – screamed in unbearable pain – and finally died at the age of 61. She carried on as she always did. She worked in an office beginning when I began high school and continued on for several years after dad’s death. She remarried and spent several years with her second husband until he passed away as well.
Everyone loved my mother. She was kind, considerate, compassionate, thoughtful, loving, loyal and extremely proud of her family. She was certain her girls would win the Miss America Pageant, had we tried. That’s what I call blind love.
I got to spend the last few years of her life living close to her. We rekindled a friendship that weathered the test of time and distance. This is when I felt closest to her.
She’s my hero, not because of what she accomplished in life, (although that was great too) but because of her caring spirit, her genuine ability to listen, her strong work ethic, her love for her family – even when we weren’t especially loveable. When I get to heaven, I expect she will be there to greet me. In life she was a saint, in death she is a child and heir of God.