Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Special Day With My Mom

This is my mother, Shirley. I had a very special day with her recently. First I took her to lunch.
She had fish and chips and I had chicken fried steak. I also had ice tea mixed with lemonade, which is called an Arnold Palmer.  As we talked I told Mom that I'd love to go on a trip down "memory lane." I wanted to visit the home she grew up in and other places, which I could see through her eyes. We did visit her home, but we took no photos, as it was so dilapidated we wanted to forget what we saw.
There is a mysterious place I've always wondered about. This place is the burial site of my mom's mother who died when my mom was only four years old. The reason it is somewhat of a mystery is that in view of the circumstances my dear mother was not encouraged to speak of her mother's death or to visit her mother's grave. Her father was so broken hearted over the sudden death of his young bride that he did not talk of her. At the funeral my darling mother, at the tender age of four, mentioned to a lady, "You have a coat like my mother's." The woman scowled at little Shirley and said, "Be quiet," in a harsh tone. All things about the young mother, Josephine, who died at age 31,  were hushed up and forgotten. The grieving father of two little girls, remarried a beautiful kind woman, who loved those little girls as her own. The family went on and enjoyed a normal happy life, but Josephine  was forgotten....
When you are a tiny child, you believe what you are told and you obey your elders, at least you did in the 1940's. For my mother, the memory of her own beloved mother, Josephine, was discouraged. It would have been "wrong" for Shirley even to ask her dad if she could visit the grave site. So, Shirley did not ask anymore and went about her happy life with her new mother, Margaret. That is why, in all these years, my mother has not visited her mother's grave. On a whim, Mom and I drove up the hill to the cemetery. The grounds were beautiful. The office was helpful and gave us a map
The inside was like no place I've ever been; so beautiful. It made me want to cry. The sun streamed into these marble rooms. We were quite and reverent in this place.
The lady helping us showed us the actual piece of paper, the bill of sale for having Josephine buried here in 1942.
After about ten minutes of searching while following our map, a man came along and helped us find Josephine's grave. I was so glad for that and that he could photograph Mom and me together.
After all these years, my mother got to see the marker where her mother was buried. I'm thankful for this and that I got to live these moments with my mom.
Another place I have been so wanting to see is Great Grandma Bessie's little house. Grandpa Irving owned this duplex and placed his mother on one side of it. She lived here and I remember visiting her. Years later, Grandpa sold his investment to the Euphoria Chocolate company.
Mom said that this had been Grandma Bessie's living room and dining room.
These were her front windows from her kitchen.
This day, I will remember. It was so sweet to me, because I got to spend it with my mother and heard her tell things about her life that I did not know. She showed me her little grade school and talked about walking home along main street. Traffic was to thick for me to photograph her school.  I thank God for this special day with Mom. I love you Mom.

 "For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring" Isaiah 44:3

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