Tribute to My 90 Year Old Mom

Nov 2nd, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

She is one of those persons whose journey included  over 80 years of the last century.  She weathered living on a farm until she was 20 years old .  She gave birth to her only child in a ramshackle house with 3 rooms and an outhouse.  During the depression, while still on the farm, she and Dad lived on $100 a year.  Most of their diet in those years consisted of corn and peas and what could be raised in a garden. That period left grave scars and underlying fears about insecurity in face of want.

Her education did not include graduating from high school.  She has lived in the same county and within a radius of about 20 miles of her birthplace all her life.  

She was the middle child of 3 girls.  Psychologists have talked about what that means to the middle child, but Mom has weathered her life very well. 

Dad and Mom moved to town in 1941, before the war, and were attending a movie on a Sunday afternoon, December 7, when they learned that Japan had bombed the United States at Pearl Harbor.

Our lives would change dramatically from that moment forward, as the entire nation did. 

She worked outside the home all her productive life.  She became a nurse, working in the local hospital and then as office nurse for a series of very competent and professional physicians in our town of 12,000.  She is remembered fondly by patients who greet her today in stores around town. Her memory of many of them is incredible.  Young kids, now adults, remember getting their annual shots from her hand.

Writing about your own mother is no small undertaking.  Her life of gift giving to others and, of course to me, went beyond the ordinary.  She is frugal to a fault, but always saw that her son was well provided for and enabled in his educational pursuits which ended in post graduate diplomas.  Her perserverance in caring for Dad,who was plagued with a variety of debilitating diseases until his death in 1995, was evidence of her quality of self sacrificing love and devotion. 

As in the case of her son, for several years she had only one grandson.  She now has two more grandchildren, whom, unfortunately she sees little.  Affection extended beyond a small circle is the norm for mother.  She never experienced a large family nor learned how to be part of one. 

My spouse, her daughter in law, expresses unconditional love to mother.  She has cared for her in numerous ways over the years and particularly as her stamina has decreased.  Mom is now in an Assisted Care Facility, where she is the “queen of the walk” and would most likely be voted Most Popular Girl.  She is blessed with numerous friends, including a boy friend.  They spend time together each week,  including a date every Tuesday to the local Dairy Queen for a hamburger and ice cream. 

She has taught me enormous lessons about the grace of aging.  She is a treasure beyond reckoning.  There is no way to measure our love for her.  Gratitude for her long life and good health are among our thanksgivings.  And so, on this 9oth birthday, dear Mother, all the cards and all the letters and all the phone calls accumulated still do not tell you, can’t describe for you, the love we have in our lives and hearts for and because of you.



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