Musings from the Hill, May 14, 2015
This year, we sat aside May 10 to honor our mothers. I am among those who along with Abraham Lincoln feel secure and confident, no matter what is expected of me; I will be able to do it.
President Lincoln said, “All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.”
His birth mother died when he was young, and he was referring to his adored stepmother. Blessed are we whose mothers have been a light in the dark forests of life.
My mother was an inspiration for all of her children. We all hold her in high honor. She endured many vicissitudes in the Great Depression of the 1930s. The bank took our lovely home after my father lost his job and was unable to find another. He became discouraged when we (a family of five children) moved to live with our grandparents. Our grandfather also lost his job. Our father did not find work and could not contribute to family expenses and disappeared for five years. I never realized how deeply my mother mourned for him. I never saw her cry, heard her discuss her changed circumstances and never did she say a disparaging word against our father. My mother wrote beautiful poetry. After her death we discovered many poems she had written telling how much she missed him and longed for his return. She was a remarkable person and certainly gave us a happy childhood. Our grandparents graciously accepted our family and no mention was ever made of our father.
President Franklin Roosevelt initiated the alphabet soup of agencies and our mother obtained a job. With never a complaint, she managed a home and a job, sewed the girls’ clothes — prom dresses and poodle and broomstick skirts. We resumed a new life without a father. My mother’s sister and her husband lived a few blocks from our grandparent’s home and contributed to their support. We adored our uncle Preston; our son is named for him. Uncle Pres realized how much we missed our large yard, garden and the nearby woods and small lake He leased property on a small lake about 25 miles from our town We named it “Camp.” They had no children, and he built a one-rom cottage for their use. Mother and we five children slept in tents on wooden platforms. Camp was the highlight of our world and for all of us our first and only experience with an outhouse. No one in our mother’s family or their relatives had ever lived on a farm. During the Great Depression if one owned a farm and lived where water was available and raised chickens and a few cows they were often much better off than those who owned a small business.
I am able to continue this column only because of the examples exhibited by my mother. She — with her never-give-up attitude and confidence to do what is demanded of us despite circumstances often beyond our control — has kept me going. This latest stroke hit my right hand and I have managed to “hunt and peck” on the computer with my left hand (I am right handed.) I also manage to tie my shoes with my left hand.
I have had wonderful assistance from many friends and social workers. I would not be able to continue to live alone without their generous help. I thank you all and especially blessed mother — a maker of happy memories! “Her children arise up and call her blessed” Proverbs