sit and think of Memories of Mom, I see so many people.
There was the Mom who had Wisdom. She may never have sat in the room with 20 other brilliant thinkers and decide what was right and wrong with the world but she had the Wisdom to help her four year old daughter and 2 year old son pack their belonging and put them in a wagon and send them on their way when they were running away from home. (NO ONE ASK FOR THAT NEW BABY ANYWAY) She also allowed us, after what seemed like hours, to convince her that we were her children and to let us back in the house.
There was the Mom who had incredible vision. She had the physical vision to look at your face and know when you were hurting, when some really minor triumph was really a major deal, or when you were getting ready to tell a lie. I can remember being willing to swear she had eyes that would detach from her body and follow us around .."You will never in you life do anything that your Mother will not eventually find out about" she would say .and as usual she was right. She also had that special kind of vision to see what people were capable of doing and expecting them to give as much as she was willing to give. 100%.
There was the Mom who had determination. One year while Dad was gone on some assignment, she had the determination to work with her baseball playing son to improve his batting average. They would go out in the yard and she would throw the ball for him to hit. They would spend an hour or so in the evenings with her throwing and him swinging. Of course since she was never allowed to participate in sports (it wasnt Lady Like ), she initially rarely threw the ball within reach. However, by the time Dad returned in a few weeks, her pitching had improved to the point where the sound of the bat hitting the ball could occasionally be heard, and my brothers coach said that he had really developed a great eye for getting out of the way of bad pitches.
She was flexible. She could make anywhere home in 48 hours. I never really appreciated this quality until I tried to do it myself. It didnt matter how large or small there was always a real home attached to where-ever we were. We would arrive at a new post, the movers would bring in the furniture and boxes and the next morning she would enroll us in school. By the time we got home the first day our clothes would be in the drawers, clean dishes in the cupboard and dinner would be on the stove. By the second day the boxes would have all disappeared and we were home again.
When Dad was in flight school she did this every 6 weeks.
She gave somuch of herself to others. One Christmas, when we lived in California, she headed up a committee for the Officers Wives Club to provide Christmas for the Children of the migrant workers in a nearby camp. Two days before Christmas when a bunch of the ladies were delivering the last load of toys to the camp, she found out that several new families had just arrived with a total of over 10 children. While others were saying how sad it was that they didnt know about these children in time to add them to the list, Mom was plotting. She got organized and talked several of her buddies into getting on the phone to get donations and then going shopping on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning every child was included, she kept saying she could not stand the thought of even one child not having Christmas.
She wore almost as many uniforms as Dad did, except that she did have more variety and color in hers than Dad had in his. There was the brown of the Brownie Leader, Green when we got old enough for Girl Scouts, dark blue for Den Mother and of course the light blue of her Red Cross Uniform.
She also wore so many hats:
Wife; to her, her most important roll
Chauffeur; ours was the Mom the neighborhood kids counted on for rides to practice, Sunday School, school functions, scouts and more.
Nurse; when we needed one
The Mom who could sew cheerleader, circle skirts for the squad in a weekend.
In later years she was the RESCUE grandmother who would receive a "GRANDMA, Mommys mad at me, come get me" call from her 3 year old Grandson and Grandma would always ride to the rescue.
She attended Soccer Games, a game she never understood, chorus concerts and dance recitals and would never fail to make each of the kids feel like they were the best.
After her children were grown she became a professional. She was director of the Red Cross for Clayton County during the Viet Nam War era. She ran blood drives, got Christmas Stockings filled for our guys overseas, counseled young wives on how to write checks, pay bills, take care of their children and basically survive while their husbands were gone. She pushed through the paperwork to get emergency leave for young men whos family members were sick or dying and provided numerous services to military families when their own sons and husbands were lost. She did it all as a professional but few people knew how many tears she shed the night she had to tell a young husband and father that while he was here on leave making funeral arrangements for his father that his wife and 2 small children had been killed in a car accident in Germany. She almost never allowed the outside world to see the marshmallow heart inside.
Perfect, heavens no .BUT there were 3 ways to do things around our house.
The WRONG way, the RIGHT way, and MOMS way ..The last two were the same and more times than not she turned out to be right.
Determined, wise, flexible, visionary, leader,
Loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother,
If someone, some day, describes me as half the woman my Mother was, I will take it as a complement and smile.
Rebecca Allwine Earls
by Larry Henley and Jeff Silbar
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