Saturday, May 8, 2010


M is for the million things she gave me

O is that she’s only growing old

T is for the tears she shed to save me

H is for her heart as pure as gold

E is for her eyes with love light shining

R means right and right she’ll always be

Put them all together they spell Mother, the word that means the world to me!

That little song was popular when I was a girl and I just now realized why we were so encouraged to sing it…don’t you love that last line? The culture of today would not include that sentence in a song…hence the differences in generations.

But I digress…a few days ago one sister asked the other three to write out words of appreciation about our mother and I have over the years put a lot of thought into this but my mind went blank when put up against the wall.

I have, in the past, made lists of ‘things my mother taught me’ and ‘what I learned as a child’ but all of a sudden they seemed inadequate and outdated.  Under the heading, 'things my Mother taught me' would be:
     ladies wear skirts
     ladies don't swear
     ladies don't chew gum

But today, looking back, I have to say my Mother is one of the strongest women I have known. She has withstood adversities with grace and calm and the longer she has lived the more grace she displays. My husband, in particular, has been very impressed with her patience and care she gave to my father, her husband. (He watches for these things.)

Looking back into the memory bank of childhood I can see my mother standing in the front of the church singing. She was wearing a dress with a square neckline and I was sitting in a pew near the front on the left hand of the church. She stood straight and tall and had the gift of song. Her fondness for the old time hymns has passed on to all four of her daughters.

There is a memory I have of her standing at the kitchen sink in the old farm house fixing sandwiches for Father and me and for some reason he and I are sitting on the floor over near the cook stove (one of those big black bruisers fueled with wood). The sandwiches were made of her heavenly homemade bread and garlic!!!! With fresh butter those sandwiches were unbelievably delightful.

My Mother could grow a mean garden. Two vegetable (like who had time or space for anything else?) gardens that I remember to be luxuriously green and abundant, were in southern Alberta. My sisters and mother will know what I mean when I say the Drausd house and the Ruchke house. Looking out the back door of either house, to my child’s eye, was this glorious jungle of green and I can see Mother out there harvesting her green beans, beets, peas and all manner of good food.

Just recently I remembered one of my happiest times as a kid. My Mother kept a big trunk where she stashed away what we called hand-me-downs, clothes that other people gave us or that my older sisters had out grown that were carefully put away for the next sister to own. Well, I remember that once in a while, maybe twice a year, Mother would open this trunk, usually on a Sunday morning, and we would try on clothes and parade around and decide what fit whom. The anticipation of looking into that box of clothes was such a thrill.

Probably Mother has been the hardest worker I have personally met. She was a wife, mother, seamstress, keeper of the house and garden, full time teacher, church worker, community participant and hostess and more. These words do seem inadequate though unless we remember that there were no easy short cuts in her world, no state-of-the-art appliances, no wrinkle free fabrics, no nannies, no delivery services; she did it all.

Mother is living by herself today; she has no husband to care for anymore. Mother no longer sings out loud except when she is alone. Mother doesn’t bake bread anymore but surely wishes she could; I cannot eat garlic in that dosage anymore anyway! And Mother no longer has a stash of hand-me-downs to go through in a big trunk. But she still dispenses love and care to all who come through her door.

There are a few people in everyone’s life who inspire you so that when they enter the room you feel you should stand up to greet them. My Mother is one of those people I would honor.

1 comment:

  1. how lovely - thinking of the saying about fruit and the tree.