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Here's to You, Mom

Wednesday June 7th marked the sixth anniversary of the passing of my mother. I do not write this looking for sympathy, for she was 99 years old, and “ready to go home.” She lived a full life. 

My mom was a great person. She and my dad were married in November, 1940. 13 months later, she was 4 months pregnant with my “much older” sister, when our country was turned upside down by the attack on Pearl Harbor. My dad went off to war, and didn’t return until the enemy had been defeated. Back then there was no deployment rotation. He went until the job was over. You will never convince me that the families of our service people don’t serve just as much holding down the home front while family members are fighting overseas.

Later on, when my dad had been an officer in charge of commanding men, mom was the leader of the wives. (If you ever saw “We Were Soldiers” you would know what I mean).

In 1961, my mom was given a death warrant! She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Dad retired from the Air Force because he knew he would be raising my 19 and 13 year old sisters and a 6 year old little boy by himself. I’m not going to preach, but I truly believe my mom received a miracle to the point that not only did she live, but lived for 56 more years. She even had to battle colon cancer later on in life and survived that as well.

Mom taught her Sunday School class well into her 90s. I would tell the ladies in her class that they were lucky. They had someone who was a first hand witness to the events that are written in the Bible. Mom took my teasing about her age in stride and often gave as good as she got. I asked her one time if it was true that she was Moses’ secretary and she said yes, and that she got so mad when he broke the first set of tablets, because she had to re-chisel the 10 Commandments in stone again.

For her 94th birthday a few years ago, I put together a booklet for her. In my research, I found that Billy Graham was both born the same year as my mom, 1918. Won’t that be quite a conversation in heaven.

She witnessed the infancy of flight and 50 years later a man walking on the moon. She was born during the last year of WWI, endured The Great Depression, World War II, Korea (Dad fought in Korea, also), Viet Nam and the Gulf Wars. She has seen America attacked twice, once on December 7, 1941 and again on 9/11. She has lived through the deaths of 3 sitting presidents, the last one being assassinated in Dallas.

Finally, when my dad suffered a stroke on December 31, 1983, she was his primary caregiver for the remaining 6-1/2 years of his life. They were married for 49years and she was a widow for 27 years after that.

I’m only scratching the surface of who my mother is, but I know that she’s read the end of the book, and knows how all this madness we call life plays out.

So here’s to you Mom.


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