August 27th is my birthday. I began to think of the Mother who gave me birth. If she were alive today, she would be over 100 years old. That gives you an idea of my age, but why people are hesitant, especially women, of sharing their age is a mystery to me. Every day we live is a gift from God and we should be rejoicing in it.
Nevertheless, I thought about my Mother, Alta, who was 21 years old when she became a mother. How difficult it must have been in an age of fewer pain relievers, saddle blocks (spinal blocks) or epidurals. Many babies were born in the home also rather than in a hospital. Should there be an emergency, the baby or the mother could die.
This led me to question WHY we say “Happy Birthday” to the person celebrating another year older when it might be even more correct that we celebrate the Mother who brought us into the world.
Here she is….my beautiful Mother and me as her baby. The Holy Scriptures tell us to “HONOR” our Mothers. Jesus honored his mother and even while he was dying on the cross, He thought to tell his disciple to take care of His Mother, Mary. How many people think of this today as they may be dying before their own mother.
That is why I want to once again give the proper HONOR to my mother. It is truly HER DAY as much as my own.
My Mother loved to cook, garden and was a business woman. She made other women beautiful as a hair designer, but in my eyes…not as beautiful as she was. She modeled sometimes for a local N.C. photographer and even into her 90’s I watched her apply her lip stick before going to dinner in her assisted living. She cared about being her best and doing her best. I hope that her genes are also strongly implanted as a part of my genes. She went through some difficult times as a single mother, but was strong in her beliefs and caring for her family. This included her concerns and generous spirit toward all her Grandchildren. She loved her son-in-law, Bill Boyer, as well.
The slide show below shows some of the characteristics that she had, but I never understood the hat and heels in the garden. Maybe she just wanted to show off both her happily growing plants that she had worked hard to produce, as well as her style.
She rarely let me in the kitchen to cook with her because she was so good at it, but the whole family enjoyed her creativity from casseroles to her coconut cake that took five days in the refrigerator. We always laughed at the fact that she sent her Grandson, Steve, to the liquor store to buy rum for her famous rum cake because she might be seen by some of her Christian friends who were Baptist teetotalers. She would soak her rum cake for days in that good stuff and never take a sip…at least that I knew of. Mom was a devout Christian and lived a life that everyone admired.
She also loved the Blue Ridge Mountains where she grew up in North Carolina and visited there when she could. I have also written my own memoirs about our years in Carolina that I titled MY STORY. It is a private book for my family, but I would encourage everyone to take the time to write about their lives. After life is over, there will be those who love you and want to remember the things that made life special for you.
“Thank you, Mother, for bringing me into the world. However in this year, 2020, when the World-Wide Coronavirus hit, I was glad that your last days were not spent in the Assisted Living that you were in for only a few months. You would have been more than sad at not being able to have your family visit…like we were able to do. You let your Grandson, Steve, climb up on your bed to play games and talk. Sadly, that is not possible now. We were able to bring our Golden Retriever, Gracie, to see you. Thank God that you were spared this isolation that so many are feeling today. You are with God and that is the most wonderful place that anyone could be. So…I say to you….Happy Birthday! I wish you were here to enjoy my birthday.
Bill, Steve and I will be down to put a flower on your grave at Christmas…as we always do. We miss you. Your loving daughter, Nancy
Slide presentation of MY MOTHER, ALTA.