My mother was a unique woman. But aren’t we all? She was born in 1912 with a hole in her heart which kept her from running and being a normal child.
Weeks before high school graduation, she had St. Vitus Dance and was forced to quit school. She would have been Valedictorian. I am not sure how she spent her time between high school and marriage in 1933, but I know she had a LOT of suitors! It was known she was a virgin, and one young man was determined to end her virginal status. She prayed aloud that God would protect her, and He did! The young man drove her home.
My Daddy met her in 1932, and told her, “You don’t know this now, but you are going to marry me someday.” Every time he saw her after that, he would ask, “When are you going to marry me?” She was busy dating many boys that year according to her photo album. In April, there is a photo of her being hugged by an unknown. In May, when my Daddy asked his question, she responded, “How about this summer?” He gave her a diamond ring in June, and they were married July 25th in her parents’ backyard with Rev. Mason, the inventor of the bubblegum machine, officiating.
Several years later after giving birth to two boys, she realized they were on their way to hell, knelt down on her knees and asked Jesus into her heart. She knew the way to salvation, because her little brother was a born again Christian and witnessed to his family. Daddy became a Christian also after discovering, when friends came over to play, Mom had burned up their playing cards. There was no turning back after that.
They both became pillars in the small community of 500 residents, Richburg, NY. They both were Sunday School teachers with Daddy on the church board. Mom became the town librarian with Daddy on the library board.
A Mother’s Day tradition in my church, in the 50s and 60s, was wearing a colored carnation if your mother was living and a white one if your mother was deceased. We kept our fake corsages in a dresser drawer upstairs for the annual occasion.
Mom witnessed to everyone she met — waitresses, dry cleaners (they came to the door in those days), Jehovah’s Witnesses, Halloween Trick or Treaters (300 kids came to their door every year with only 500 people in town! They came from the surrounding hills and vales.), even airline stewardesses! Both of my parents led many people to the Lord.
Their first grandchild, Kathy, was born when I was in third grade. She and my Mom had a very special relationship. Twenty years later, my Karin was born. Again, their rapport was extraordinary. Both granddaughters grew to have the same zeal for God as their Grandmother.
It was my mother’s death which prompted me to delve into genealogy where I uncovered some phenomenal stories of my ancestors. I began my writing career at that point and took a writing program at a local university. Then Karin’s death derailed me, followed by the exit of my spouse.
Today, they sit at Jesus’ feet with Karin playing the harp and Mom singing Glory to God in the Highest. Daddy is there too, but he isn’t singing (I hope!). And I sit at my computer trying to reignite the flame of writing the legacy stories God has laid in my lap. I will be wearing two white carnations on Mother’s Day, for my mother and my daughter.