I have had a wonderful, blessed Mother's Day today, but I can't help missing the moms in my life that are gone.
Esther Anderson was an amazing woman. My grandmother raised six kids without many of the modern conveniences most moms have today, on less money than one would think possible, and with a husband that was one of the orneriest people I have ever known. Don't get me wrong, Grandpa was a wonderful man, but he had a bad habit of throwing himself into things - like new cars or businesses on a whim. Grandma never complained. Thinking back I can remember at least 3 new cars that just showed up at the house. She would sigh and roll her eyes, but never fussed or complained. She mowed the yard. This seemed like no big deal until I was a teenager and realized what a sacrifice that was when paired with her severe sun allergy. I never saw her mow in anything less that long pants, long sleeves and a BIG hat to prevent the rash she would get if she got too much sun. When my family moved to Alabama, my Grandma and I started writing each other letters. Not lots, but several a year. She NEVER forgot my birthday. I got $5 in my card until I was 23. She asked me once if it was silly, but I assured her that I used those $5 to use on a mom's night out - coffee and a new book. It was one of my few splurges while Lou was in school. That year Grandma, Mom, Aunt Kathy and I went on a trip to the Mennonite Relief Sale in Kidron, Ohio where Grandma donated 3 quilts to auction. They brought in more than $2500. One sold to a second time customer who had come to buy another work of her art. During my time with her that week, we took my boys to get ice cream every day. She passed away suddenly the next month. I still think of her everyday. I only hope that someday I can be half the role model that she was for me.
Most people think of a mother in law with fear or loathing. I can honestly say that I was friends with mine. For two years we laughed and had a great time together. When Lou and I were first dating he mentioned how big of a deal it was that we spent time at HIS house. DeRoma would answer the phone when I called and sometime in the next hour we would stop talking long enough for me to chat with Lou too. Lou has told me a story about how a few weeks into our "officially dating", his mom asked him flat out, "Can I get attached this this one?" He didn't have much choice. DeRoma and I were soon making out own dates. When hunting season started she called to see if I wanted to come over for pizza and tv time. Lou was invited too. LOL! We had a blast. When I got pregnant, everyone was doom and gloom. Most of all me. De started purchasing baby stuff within the week. She was SO excited. I never got a chance to tell her how much it meant for SOMEONE to be happy about the baby. When Austin was born she started making plans to keep him. We discussed the possibly of my going back to school and we had decided that fall semester would be a good trial. DeRoma died in August. I still tease Lou like I did when we were dating with a winking, "I only dated/married you for your Mom." I don't think he has ever minded. He understands just like anyone who was lucky enough to know her.
Happy Mother's Day to all my favorite moms, here and in the beyond.