Nov 2nd, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today is Mom’s 92nd birthday.  Born in 1919, she had her first and only child almost 20 years later. The early years of marriage were spent on a farm, during the latter part of the Great Depression.  It was a demoralizing and, as the word implies, terribly despondent time. She had also grown up on a farm, lived through the Coolidge 20’s and, as an adolescent, coped with the Hoover years.  By the time she had a child Mr. Roosevelt had been in office and some things, but not many or all, were better.

Throughout the 40’s our family lived in a modest size East Texas town, characterized by segregation, their side and our side of town, theatres and Jim Crow attitudes.  Dad, while not recruited for the service, was employed by one of two of the major industries in our town.  It was a manufacturing plant which made glass containers for all kinds of products.  Some years later, as plastics made their foray into everything, the glass plant was no more.  Just before the war ended, Dad was drafted, but it was over before he had to go.

The late 40’s and 50’s were an idyllic time for a young kid growing up. While there was class-ism in  our town, it did not manifest itself in mean ways, except through the evil of segregation.  That, we would all come to find in the decade of the 60-s, would receive its  deserved comeuppance.

Mom, during those years of the 50’s began to do what more and more women had done during and since the war.  She worked outside the home, eventually qualifying to be a nurse.  She took upon herself a career which became a natural for her.  She loves people and expresses compassion in genuine easy-to-detect ways.  She is still that way, even at 92.

Persons today still remember her from the many physicians for whom she worked as an office nurse, schools where she was the nurse taking care of the bumps and bruises that come with growing up, and serving on the nursing staff of the local hospital.  Some of the students to whom she gave shots and took care of their sniffles still remember her as the one who gave them necessary shots.

Mother’s Journey

All this time, her husband continued to work and found himself promoted at the glass plant.  However, genetics and other influences contributed to his having major health problems including Rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis and heart issues.  Like many men of that era, he smoked.  So, in addition to all the rest, he experienced asthma and other respiratory complications.  Mother worked outside the home, even while assisting Dad in coping with one or another of these diseases.  Neither was able to attend my High School graduation because of his illness.

Not long after,  as my path took me through college, with considerable help from my parents, Dad would retire, while Mother continued to work outside the home.  Their generosity provided many advantages to me, some that I will never realize.

Eventually, Mom and Dad would move to the farm that had been owned by her parents.  It would turn out to be a happy time for them both, a deserved time for peace and tranquility, even though Dad’s health continued to decline.

Meanwhile, a grandson had come along and while we lived far distant, occasional visits from there to home, and their coming to visit us would allow for deeply meaningful reunions.

Later, when life would take me in other directions, including divorce and remarriage, the addition of four more grandchildren would be added to the family tree.  All of this time, Mom’s humble life, her devotion to Dad, and her commitment to her family would continue to mean much to her now senior years.

She has resided in two assisted care facilities, and just recently had to transfer to a Skilled Nursing Center because of issues requiring more consistent care.  Her determination continues to guide her.  Her unwillingness to give up or give in prevails as her daily modus operandi, and her love of people helps her keep a cadre of friends, some of whom gathered with her today to celebrate her 92nd birthday, with her favorite dessert, an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.

When did it all happen?  It happened while all of us were living out our lives, much of which was made good and possible by her presence and generous love.

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