Today is my dear mother’s eighty-eighth birthday! Because she’s my hero, all week long (in anticipation of her birthday) I’ve been planning to list eighty-eight ways in which I think she’s great. I began the list, but as I reflected on her life, I felt like it wasn’t really fair to compile a list … as if this amazing woman could be summed up with a number of facts or trivia! I’ve posted about her in the past, so I invite you to read some of the facts of her life I’ve already shared. (Start here, here and here. There are others but those three will suffice for now.)
The photo at right is a picture of a pillow my daughter-in-law made for her, painting the picture as a pleasant reminder of the years Mom lived in Florida. (She and my daddy moved there after he retired. After his death, she remained about six more years in the home they had shared and then moved back to St. Louis.) She always loved being near the beach because she was an avid swimmer.
During my mom’s lifetime, she has done remarkable things by living a simple life of steadfast resilience. She encountered early challenges, losing her daddy when she was six years old … and shortly thereafter, losing the daily presence of her mother because Mom was quickly enrolled in boarding school. This double-barreled loss would’ve devastated the spirits of countless children, but my mom soldiered on.
When my mom met my dad during the mobilizing phase of World War II, she fell in love with this Army corporal, not knowing whether or not he’d return from D-Day. (At one point, he was reported as MIA; thankfully, that proved to be untrue.) Once the war ended and he returned from military deployment, he invited her to visit his family in St. Louis. At first, his close-knit family were all pretty wary of this Eastern, boarding school girl, but they grew to love her and she found an extended family unlike anything she’d known before! Continue Reading →