Sunday, May 8, 2011

Celebrating the Moms who came before me

I am blessed to have come from a line of great mothers.  They taught me a lot and were role models of the highest caliber-- Ones whose shoes I could only fill similarly to the little girl flopping around in her mother's pumps.

Grandma D and Princess Sassy. 1995
Grandma D:  My maternal grandmother.  This picture, although not from her most robust years, is a great representation of her.  Always ready for a party, or at least a good amount of fun.  She always had a twinkle in her eye and a tease at the ready.  She was the kind of grandma who let you eat dessert without finishing your dinner (or milk) first.  She was huggable and easy to talk to.  She loved her family, she loved Grandpa, who was her best friend, and she loved the Lord.  Oh, and basketball.                                                                                                               
Grandma came from a family with several siblings.  Her parents owned a store in which Bing Crosby used to come and read magazines in his pre-star years.  When my mom was little, she and Grandpa managed a logging camp, and Grandma cooked hearty meals for all the loggers.  Later they moved and opened a small town hardware store; Grandma by Grandpa's side much of the time.                                                                                                                                                                             
Grandma loved a good game of Scrabble, and was famous for her always-full cookie jar, her butterhorns (similar to cinnamon rolls), homemade hamburger buns, and lemon meringue pie.  She was a talented and prolific knitter.  We still prize our knitted afghan, made especially for two, as a wedding gift.  She knit afghans for each of her 18 grandchildren, and all of her great grandchildren until she couldn't see well enough any more.  3 of our kids were so blessed.                                                                                                                                                                    
She and Grandpa built at least 3 houses together, and home was especially important to her.  I so wish she could've seen the house we've built.                                                                                                                                                                                     
Grandma went Home to be with God and Grandpa 11 years ago, at the age of 88.

Grandma H:  My paternal grandmother.  This grandma obviously loved her family, and was especially happy to welcome each new baby.  She had a great sense of humor, too, and was the picture of hospitality.  We couldn't visit without being served a bowl of ice cream and homemade cookies.  She loved to share what she knew with the kids.  She and Princess Bossy exchanged recipes over email well into her 90s.                                                                                                                               
Grandma H and Prince Go-For-It. 1998
Grandma had 5 sisters, one of whom died in infancy, along side her mother, in the 1918 flu epidemic.  This left her widowed father alone with a houseful of clever and strong-minded girls.  The next youngest sister died in her 40s, but the other 4 met for lunch every Thursday for the rest of their lives.  Grandma was the oldest, and was the last one left, which made her quite sad.                                                                                            
She was widowed at a young age, herself, and left with 5 children, ages 6 to newborn. (My dad was the 6 year old.)  4 of the 5 were boys, and a mischievous bunch, from the tales my dad tells.  Approximately 10 years later, she married the man who was my wonderful Grandpa.  They added my uncle to the family. (He later married the aunt whose guacamole recipe I shared on Thursday.)                                                                                                                                                                              
This grandma also knitted and crocheted.  She sewed, too, and I remember many handmade gifts during my childhood.  She was famous for her platters of cookies at Christmas, including Creme Wafers, Russian Tea Cakes, and Krumkake.   Knowing how much they were loved, she continued making those into the latter years of her life, even when she needed Grandpa to pitch in and help.  She left us for Heaven almost 4 years ago, at the age of 95.  

Mom, top left.  Me, bottom left. 1966
Mom:  So much to say about my mom.  She started life at the lumber camp with Grandma and Grandpa D, and met my dad in high school.  She's been a devoted wife to him for almost 62 years, and an affectionate and giving mother to my 4 siblings and me.  She has modeled her own faith, and it was important to her for us to learn Biblical truths and know God.  She exhibited His unconditional love for us daily.  Our home was always open to family and friends, and she shared that love with all who entered.                                                                                                                         
Mom loved us through her cooking, including bread-baking and cake-decorating.  Her frosting roses are the best I've seen.  She has a skill for gardening, especially with indoor plants, that I didn't inherit.  African Violets are her specialty.  If anyone she knows has a birthday or other special occasion, it doesn't go by without a nice card and note from Mom.                                                                                  
Mom with my younger sis and me. 1976
She sewed our clothes, uniforms, and costumes, and was a star at frugal living, doing her part to make ends meet for a big family on one income.  She led my BlueBird/Camp Fire group, and chaperoned baseball tournament trips.  She prayed for us every day, and still does.  She was there to welcome and help with new babies, to sit with us at the hospital through Princess Bossy's surgery, to help me watch 6-week old Princess Sassy for worrisome signs during a bout of pneumonia.  She is a 'baby whisperer' who can coax smiles and coos from any infant, and delight every grandchild with the perfect birthday gift, because she cares to know what they love.                                                                                                         
Mom with Princess Artiste. 1996
She called Grandma D "Mother" and Grandma H was "Mom."  She had wonderful mother-daughter relationships with them both, and Grandma H commented on Mom's connection to and deep caring for family.  I thought that's how all mother-in-law to daughter-in-law relationships worked, and I think it says a lot about Mom and Grandma.  I have been disappointed to find how rare that kind of bond is.                                                 
Mom is the kind of person who we never heard say a bad thing about anyone.  She often quoted, truly believed, and always lived, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."  She never missed a recital, school activity, or sports event.  She would be at all those of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren if she could.

She and Dad love to travel and are hoping to make a motorhome trip soon to visit family that's spread across the country.   That now has to wait until after a couple of weddings!                                                                                                                                 
She cares so deeply for her husband and family.  I could have asked for no better role model as a wife and mother.

Happy Mothers' Day, to all!  
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...