Sunday, April 29, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom

88 years ago today, my mother was born. She presented to the world as a chubby, pink bundle with wispy brown hair. Her parents named her Verla Mae. Those were the days of home births. Pre and post natal care did not exist; no footprints were taken; no lab work was done.

Mother grew to be a beautiful young woman with green eyes shining in a heart shaped face. She married her childhood sweetheart. Their first child, me, was conceived just before Dad left for basic training in World War Two. I was almost two years old when he returned at war's end. Between 1946 and 1951, our little family grew by three more children.

Mom's creativity took many forms. Halloween was one of her favorite times. She made our costumes and applied face paints or make up before we kids went trick or treating around town. And for years I kept the elephant costume she made when I played the mastodon in a high school play. She made our Easter outfits and every other creation on an old treadle sewing machine.

Mom loved every holiday, but Christmas was her favorite time of year. She baked Christmas cookies so wonderful that even little kids hated to eat them. Santa heads were decorated with fluffy icing beard and chocolate chip eyes. Christmas trees iced with green frosting and candy baubles looked as festive as the real thing. Every raindeer was Rudolph with a red icing nose and a jaunty look. Candy canes, angels, stars -- all were decorated with different color frostings and so tasty that I can still remember the first bite. A dab of icing stuck each cookie to a paper lace doily. Beautiful, appealing to the eye, and special because of the effort put into it. Mom's cookies signified to everyone what she was as a person.

Mom divorced our father when my brother was a baby. From that point on she became a master at creating something out of almost nothing. Yes, we were poor as the proverbial churchmice but did not realize it then. She fed us nourishing food, made every holiday special, and took any job she could find to support her little brood.

Mom died more than twenty years ago, but I still remember life when she was in it, baking cookies, simmering chicken and noodles or navy bean soup. So I just wanted to say Happy Birthday, Mom. The older I get, the more I miss you.

1 comment:

Pami said...

Years ago on May Day two little girls came to my door and handed me a bouguet of Lilacs and a grape vine that they grew themselves.
Although it wasn't the traditional
knock on the door and run away like it was years ago it made my heart happy that 2 little girls that didn't even know me gave me such precious gifts that they hand picked and grew themselves.The two little girls walked away hand in hand giggling,they were so sweet,a gift from God.I reflect on those good ol'days gone by and it always brings a smile to my face and happy tears.

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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