The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Enid Features

May 6, 2014

How will you honor your mother?

ENID, Okla. — How will you honor your mother Sunday? Think about it.

In one single column, I cannot write all the wonderful things about my mother. I was blessed with parents, grandparents and older siblings that helped shape my life. But Mother was the coordinator of that raising. She had a certain way that she wanted her saplings to grow and she bent the twig that way. Her wishes paid off as all her children turned out well as educated and productive citizens.

Mother was fun. She laughed with us and sang with us and quoted poetry and rhymes to us. She also filled us with wonderful stories and yarns about the olden days. She must have had a very interesting childhood, living with 10 other siblings (eight boys and three girls). She made candy and cookies and had daily interesting adventures with her siblings.

Her father was a builder and in fact built huge houses in Pawnee that are still in existence. He did beautiful work. He built the house I remember Grandma and Grandpa living in, and it had a bannister on the stairway that was gorgeous. Those grandparents died when I was 4 years old, but I have fond memories of getting to slide down that bannister ONCE each time I visited them. It is a memory I treasure. They were wonderful grandparents and passed their values and integrity on to Mother who then passed it on to me. They have a special place in my heart.

Mother taught us compassion as she related how her little sister died at 9 years of age with diphtheria.  Her 14-year-old brother was killed when a car spooked the horse he was riding, and he was killed. (Remember there were very few cars back in those days, and horses were not accustomed to anything on the road but other horses and people.) As far back as I can remember, she had “Brother Roy’s” picture hanging in her bedroom. She never got over his death. That sadness gave her an understanding of others who were grieving. Without being morbid, she conveyed to us that death was a part of life and that we should enjoy every minute of every day and not to waste time, that every day was precious and every life precious.

When I was a kid, we always went to Sunday School and Church. It was as expected of us as regular school. We never questioned that we were to go to school to learn and never considered staying home from church services either. It saddens me that some people now do not go to the church of their choice and train their children to go. This old adage that the kids can decide when they grow up where they want to go makes as little sense and saying the kid can go to school when he decides what he wants to be. No education is wasted, and there must be a foundation to help them decide. I never resented my mother’s guidance of education nor Christianity. She was a wonderful example of how a Christian lives each day in service and love.

It was no easy task to get all of us kids ready for Sunday School and church. She polished all our shoes every Saturday evening and had them in a row when we got up Sunday morning to dress for church services. She carefully ironed all our dresses and shirts and even ribbons for our hair. On Sunday morning, she braided my long hair and did whatever it took to make us all presentable and pretty. She was proud of all of us and wanted us to put our best feet forward.

My mother was the most patient person in the world. She had to be, with seven children. I never heard her raise her voice in anger nor lose her temper in a rage. She had a polite way of asking us to do something and not demanding that we do something. She was kind and courteous all the time. She was always a lady. She acted like a lady and dressed like a lady and talked like a lady.  People looked up to her for guidance and advice. She was always thinking of the other person first. She was a saint, if ever there was one.

Time does not diminish how I feel about Mother. Every time I use her old black cornbread pan or enjoy one of her recipes, I think of her and her sacrifices for us. She shaped my life and I will always be grateful for her dedication to motherhood. Not a day goes by that she is not in my mind. I feel her guidance and love. Mother’s Day is a wonderful day, but we should remember and cherish our mothers every day of our lives, and appreciate what they have done for us.

I was taught by example how to be a mother and grandmother. I never had a child, but I have been blessed over the years with wonderful nieces and nephews and a step-daughter who has touched my life. I have others who are “adopted,” so I have never been without children in my life. My grand daughters are like my own flesh and blood. I am truly blessed.   

I learned to cook and enjoy cooking at my mother’s knee and my grandma’s elbow. They both loved to cook for big families and hay crews and thrashing crews and such. We cooked simple food and plenty of it. I still like to entertain simply. It is the people who make any party fun.

Mother made wonderful cookies. These were my favorites.

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