When I remember my mother, I don't ignore those last ten years. There were some good times ... but the best times were before that dreadful disease took her away from us.
We always thought our mother was very pretty! Her hair was dark brown and wavy ... and her complexion was very dark. In the summertime, she tanned beautifully ... not because she sunbathed ... but because she worked in a garden and hung clothes outside! She was busy raising five nearly perfect children, working in her church ... and taking care of a carpenter husband who also worked hard. Daddy gardened ... but Mother canned all that produce, so we were never hungry! Mother was a fantastic cook back in the times when everything was made from scratch! I have never made ... or even tasted ... a coconut cream pie as good as the ones my mother made! I eventually mastered her pot roast and one of my brothers can make vegetable soup just like hers ... but for the most part ... we just talk about how good Mama's food was!
Most of the candid pictures we have of our mother are of her holding babies! We are pretty sure that is her job in Heaven ... rocking babies! She was blessed with grandchildren and great- grandchildren and she loved them all! Here she is with my baby daughter in 1975 and then later posing on Easter Sunday! Daddy's eyes are closed and Nicole is anxious to eat lunch!
By the time we surprised Mother and Daddy with a little celebration of their 60th Wedding Anniversary ... Mother was losing ground. She lived another seven years and we continued to celebrate everything about our lives ... birthdays, graduations, weddings, every holiday ... and she was included in everything we did. During her few months in the nursing home, I still took parties to her. I'd make special foods, pack a picnic basket and take pretty paper plates and napkins ... and we'd celebrate! Sometimes, I'd just make up a reason to take her a party basket!
We cherish our mothers ... probably more after they are gone. My mother wasn't perfect. There were moments ... but my memories are perfect!
Happy Mother's Day!