Happy Birthday, Mom

Jean

Happy Birthday, Mom

Jean
birthday-cake-380178_640Yesterday was a really bad day. A day I wanted to call up my best friend and whine about my woes. Then of course that reminded me she died (about rhree months now) and I can't call her. So I wrote a long rambling blog post to vent, then my internet froze up and I lost it all. Just topped of my day. Then to my rescue my sister called and I was able to vent to a sympathetic ear. It sometimes amazes me just how much having someone understand your frustration helps calm the waters.

Today would have been my mom's 84th birthday. It's been almost 1-1/2 years since her death. My mom had AD and was in a nursing home for the last six years of her life. I didn't get to see her often since I was caring 24/7 for my MIL who had vascular dementia. I wrote about my MIL before, honoring her activism (she marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. into Montgomery, Alabama), her volunteer work as a Stephen's minister and taking on an AIDS client in a time when everyone else freaked out about being near someone with AIDS. MIL had a very honorable public life. The kind of person who gets noticed for her accomplishments.

My mom, on the other hand, did not like attention. She was quietly there in the background doing all that work that glues a family and community together. She had worked as a RN before I was born, but then was a full-time farmwife, mother and community worker. When someone died, she would make food. When a neighbor's kid skinned up a knee, she would pick out the gravel and bandage the wounds. She made our clothes. She cooked meal, after meal, after meal for a brood of six kids plus however more farm helpers were there for the day. She made snacks and drinks to take to the field. She did her share of field work on the tractor also (she loved that the most). And I can't leave out all the other chores of laundry, feeding animals, tending garden, canning, helping with homework and refereeing sibling fights. She was the person doing the not-so-glamours tasks. She didn't complain and frequently whistled songs as she worked. I rarely remember her sitting down to rest. She rarely watched TV, and if she did there was at least a basket full of laundry she was folding, or sewing a hem in a dress, mending clothes and so on.

My mom, like many moms, was a hard workers that just did what it takes. She was a caregiver and I miss her dearly.