My mother, Gladys, went into the loving arms of Jesus last September. She was born in 1920, the baby in a family of four children. Her childhood on the farm taught her a lot about hard work and serving others. She learned to prepare large quantities of food for the threshing crews who came to the farm each year. She learned compassion from watching her father provide food and a place to sleep in their barn when people would come through the countryside looking for food, work and shelter during the depression.
My mom married my dad, Lester, during the time of World War II. She raised four children on the farm I came to know as home my entire life. Each one of us gave my parents some sort of grief and/or heartache as we navigated our way through our teenage years as well as into our adult lives. As a mother of four children myself, I now am amazed as to how loyal, persevering and loving she and my dad were through all of it. She never cut off her love from me or built a wall preserving her own feelings as a way to protect herself from the hurt and sadness she no doubt experienced at times through my rebellious actions.
My mom was so many things, but mostly she was loyal. As this Mother’s Day is around the corner I am so grateful for the mother I had who taught me so much. In the tough times of my mothering days now I choose to honor her as I deal with what comes before me. The last few years of her life she persevered through pain from complications of kidney disease and osteoarthritis, but she kept fighting in order to be part of the lives of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Four years ago she sat at my daughter’s wedding, just taking it all in and saying how happy she was to be there as she knew it was her last wedding. This past summer she was able to attend my daughter’s (her youngest granddaughter) high school graduation and she was happy as well as surprised she was able to be a part of it.
She was loyal to the end and three months later, shortly after her 94th birthday, she died after a short hospital stay. I hope my life will exemplify hard work, serving, and compassion, but most importantly in my mind is loyalty, no matter what, to those who are so dear to me. She lived until age 94 and she was loyal to the end. I pray I can leave a legacy of loyalty as valuable as hers.