Happy Birthday Mom!

Today would be my Mom’s birthday.  She died in 1990.  It’s so hard to believe that that she’s been gone for so long.  I was only 24 when she passed away.  She made such an impact on my life.

On Veteran’s Day I showed you a couple of my dad’s pictures from service.  A blog reader commented that my Dad was so handsome.  Oh my.  He was.

Actually my mom was a looker too.
She loved horses and was quite a talent with them.
My parents were an amazing looking couple.  In their dating years and early married years, the pictures of them look so glamorous to me.  Don’t you think?The picture below was a photo booth photo.

but truth told…this is how I remember my mom.

I was the youngest kid in the family.  By the time I really remember my mom well, she was catching gray hair…either that I was giving them to her!

She needed glass but didn’t always wear them.  She was plagued with allergies.  I’m guessing that she likely would have benefitted from a gluten free diet.  At the time, we didn’t know about eating gluten free.

She had allergies and had trouble with cow milk, thus the goats and goat milk.  She loved trying new things.  She was always experimenting and coming up with things to make with goat milk.  She made amazing yogurt that the family talks about to this day.

She could do most anything.  No joke.  When there was a remodeling project to do.  My parents hired a carpenter that worked on his own.  Mom worked right alongside with him.  She laid all of the carpet and linoleum in the farmhouse.  She painted old cabinets to make them look like they had a wood grain.  She hung wallpaper and it DID NOT COME DOWN or lift at the seam.  She was a talent.

She could sew.  She made wonderful life like applique quilts for the grandchildren.  She could alter clothes to make them perfect.  She was an amazing seamstress.  My sister Judy got that from her.

She was a good cook.  She made good homemade comfort food that we all loved.  Meals were always prompt and delicious.

When I turned 19 and got some of the “teen year rebellion” out of me, she became my best friend.  Truly.  I wish I had been more mature and treasured her more.  I wish I had asked her every question that has ran through my mind since she passed away.  I wish we would have had time for her to pass along her many talents to me.  Mostly, I just wish she were still here.

Mom would have hated aging though.  She would not have liked slowing down.  She would have missed the goats and chores.  She would have missed all of her projects that aging would have made her set aside.  Today she would have been 91.

She died suddenly with no warning.  My kids have asked what’s easier- to lose a loved one sudden and unexpected or slow like Kramer.  The answer:  There is no good way to lose anyone.  It stinks either way.

I’m so thankful I had Mom for the time I did.  I was so blessed….Yes, she did look pretty glamorous in those pictures but mom’s beauty was way more than skin deep.  Mom’s beauty went right to the heart and oh my, 30 years later, I still feel her absence.

22 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Mom!”

  1. This is such a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing more about your family. She was quite a lady for certain. Hugs for your loss that you still feel many years later.

  2. Your mom and dad were awesome. Don’t we all wish we had connected better with our parents and grandparents when they are no longer available to us. Happy birthday to your mom!

  3. Thank you for sharing your parents with us. What a lovely couple. Most of us wish we had learned more from our parents, listened to more stories, etc. I know I do.

    Love and hugs

  4. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Thank you for reminding me just how blessed I am to be caring for my 98 year old father. The last 4 years I have had lots of time to listen to his stories of the old days. You are right, both ways suck to lose someone you love.

  5. Your mom sounds amazing. I’m so happy you had her for as long as you did and have good memories to enjoy. Losing someone suddenly is an awful experience, there is no time to say goodbye. Thank you for sharing the wonderful stories of your parents.

  6. Judith Fairchild

    I know what you’re talking about! I wasn’t the youngest. But my mom was a can do lady. If she didn’t know how to do things she learned how. I am so blessed to have had her in my life till I was 65. She’s been gone almost ten years and I still pick up m phone to call her when my Grands do something funny or great. It hurts then sharply.
    Your folks were gorgeous and good it shows in the way you write and the things you do. You are blessed.

  7. You look so much like both your Mom & Dad. Women of her generation grew up learning how to “do it all”, because there wasn’t anyone else to do all of those things. I also wish I would have paid more attention to my mom’s stories … I often think of something I would like to ask her, but there’s no one left to ask. Good memories though!

  8. Beautiful parents Jo. I like you can think of a million questions to ask my Mom since she has been gone. I see your parents in you and your children also, I think you took a lot after your Mom and her talents. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  9. Well Jo – I would say you do have your mother’s talent – she was a beauty and your writing about her made me remember by Mom too. Mother’s are a treasure that cannot be replaced. I loved calling her and getting her opinion on things. Thanks for your post.

  10. Lovely tribute. I too lost my Mom in my 20’s quite suddenly. Like you I wish I had had her for longer. She never knew her grandkids. It was hard during that time, but I think my mom would have hated to be a burden or an invalid. The Lord just knew it was her time.

  11. What a beautiful couple! You look like your momma and I see your dad in all your kids! Carver looks a lot like your dad too! 24 is too young to lose your momma! I was 39 and it’s too young too! Your mom sounds like a wonderful woman and mother!

  12. Your parents sound like wonderful people who loved not only each other but there children. I love seeing them on that tractor, doing it the old fashioned way. My how far farm equipment has come. A lovely tribute to the parents who raised who Jo, you were blessed.

  13. Cherilaine in St. Paul

    Jo, I so love your blog. The remembrances of your parents are lovely. My mom, too, died suddenly. I was only five. My father did double duty, as both mom and dad for all my growing up years. Your thrift store treasures and childcare stories are such fun to read. Blessings!

  14. Your parents were quite a handsome couple! My MOm died at age 60 when I was 30. I never really got to know her as an adult because we were in England for 3 years prior to coming back to the US. You favor her. Such memories for you.

  15. I just stumbled on to your blog…I am happy I did as I heard the story of your mom . My dad died suddenly and also my brother. Life was never quite the same for my mom. I’m so sorry for your loss but know you truly were Blessed by the memories you write.

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