My mother was born into the wrong century. She was interested in things from the past and held many ideas from a much less modern time period. She was a collector of history – family photos, antique tools, bottles, recipes, ideas. I suspect she may have been influential in her siblings’ decision to hang onto the old family farm for so many years before selling it – it was history.
While she did not physically show her love [except to the grandkids and the greats], she did love us all. She wanted us all to come home every weekend. She didn’t always understand or approve of our way of thinking as adults and usually made sure we knew it.
Mom grew up in a difficult time period for our country, in an area where earning a living and feeding your family many times required moving miles away from home. She was a recycler out of necessity in her early life and by choice in her later life. It was difficult for her to throw away anything that could possibly be used again. It was also difficult for my brother and me to appreciate this fact when cleaning out the house after her death.
Mom was a talented seamstress. She made all the clothes for our whole family of four, except for my Dad and brother’s jeans. She was a perfectionist, so our clothes looked as good or better than “store bought” ones. We slept under quilts that she had hand made prior to her marriage, bedspreads that she had embroidered, linens she had made. I have a coat and dress that she made when I was very small and photos of me wearing these clothes. They are among my treasures.
Mom and all of her family were Democrats from way back and very opinionated. Why Mom decided to marry a Republican, I’ll never know. Although they were both handsome people, Dad was, after all, a Republican – in fact the only one, including the in-laws. And they did argue about politics at times.
Mom went thru several years of bad health with some lingering effects lasting the rest of her life. She always enjoyed writing and receiving cards and letters. Many people remarked to me after she was gone that she had sent them cards and notes on many occasions.
In her 80s, she was still sharp as a tack and conducting all of their business affairs, keeping up with both of their doctor’s appointments, making sure Dad took his meds and reminding him of everything else he needed to do after he couldn’t remember anymore. She insisted they stay on the farm as long as possible, which kept Dad in a place familiar to him.
She was a strong person in many ways, vulnerable and naive in others.
She’s been gone four years now. I’m sure I don’t measure up in many ways. Hopefully, I’ll have enough good points that my daughter will write something good about me many years from now.