Good Friday morning…and Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all the moms, grandmoms and daughters out there. Today, I’m departing a little from my usual format. I want to share my memories of Mom with all of you. While there is a card at the end, it’s not the focus of my post today. For those of you who hate a blogger that shares personal “stuff” you can just scroll down to the end and look at the card. For the rest of you, grab a cup of something to drink and maybe a snack and join me as I share memories of mom.
To truly understand what an amazing person my mother, Barbara L. Wright, was you need to know a little bit about her. She was born in rural New Hampshire in 1922, the second girl in a family of what grew to be 10 children! Her mother and father divorced when she was very young. When she was only 4 years old, they sent her to live with an aunt she’d never met in Southern Vermont. She was the only child who was parceled out like this, and I think it affected her all her life long. She never had anyone to call Mom. She never got a hug. She never heard the words “I love you” or “Good job.” Her aunt was a peculiar lady, and Mom grew up hearing the words, “You have to earn your keep.” Not an easy life, and she could have been bitter, but she wasn’t.
Anyway, Mom was smart as a whip, excelled in school, had a lovely singing voice and fortunately, a cheerful disposition. She graduated high school a year early and went right to work at a trucking firm in Bellows Falls, VT.
She had to pay her aunt room and board, and had to provide her own meals. But she was thrifty and saved up for a sewing machine out of her small paycheck. I seem to remember her telling me she earned the lordly sum of $16/week. She did bookkeeping and clerical work. She was a real beauty and loved clothes. Each week, after she had paid all her expenses, she went to the local dress shop and bought herself a new dress. She caught the eye of a shy young man who worked the night shift at her place of employment, and once he got his courage up, he asked her out for a date. Barbara Lorraine Lowe eloped with Richard Farnham Wright on February 14, 1944. Why? Because her aunt had made it very clear to her that shew as not to marry; she was to stay with her and care for her in her old age. Fearful of her aunt’s wrath, Mom and Dad sneaked away to marry at my father’s aunt’s home. When Mom’s aunt learned of her elopement, she took all of Mom’s belongings: clothes, sewing machine, Hawaiian guitar, books….everything Mom had and took it all to the dump. So Mom went from being one of the best dressed gals around to possessing just what she had packed in her suitcase! Mom and Dad were madly in love with one another for their whole married life. Together, they had 5 children: Douglas, David and Dennis were born first…and then to Mom’s surprise…4 years after Dennis was born, she found herself in the family way once again! When family and friends asked her what she would name this baby, she said (with her wry sense of humor) “Done.” I laugh every time I think of that…and I’m very thankful that when she had her next child, a baby girl born in 1956, she did not name me “Done” as threatened….she named me Kathy.
I do not possess the words to tell you how much I loved my mom. She was the most incredible person I’ve ever known. She was smart, funny, kind, generous, and had a little wicked streak that ran through her veins as well. She was a good poker player, a fantastic cook, a wonderful gardener and could sew to beat the band. She used to make her own patterns out of newspaper. She baked all the bread for our family table. Every Saturday, she made 36 DOZEN doughnuts, packaged them up in brown paper sacks and we delivered them to the neighbors. This was how she earned the money for our family’s flour, milk, eggs, butter and sugar. She took in ironing. She watched other people’s children. She volunteered. She cared for my dad’s mother when she became ill. But I never heard her complain. She always had a song on her lips, a twinkle in her eye, and a positive approach to life. She read thousands of books to me, taught me how to make simple cards, taught me how to love hard work. What a woman!
Mom found out she was expecting again when I was 4 years old….and Dad was in the hospital recovering from his first heart attack. My dad was so tickled that there was going to be another baby…and when Susan came along more than a month ahead of schedule and weighing under 4 pounds, Mom just took it in stride. That’s how she rolled! Nothing daunted her. We did not have money, but we were not poor. Our home was rich with love and laughter, and we always seemed to have enough to share. When Dad went home to be with the Lord in 1970, I remember asking Mom ,”What are we going to do now?” She looked me right in the eye and said, “Why, Kathy…we are going to trust the Lord, just like we’ve always done.” And we did.
I apologize for the length of this post. I guess I am going to have to write a book to tell you all the wonderful stories about Mom. Mostly I wanted to pay tribute to her and all the things she taught me in her life. She taught me how to love. After my own children were born, I asked her how she got to be such a great mom, given the way she had grown up. Her reply was simple: “I was determined that not one of my children would ever have to go to bed at night wondering if they were loved.” And we never had to wonder. Mom loved us with a love that was bigger than the world. So, Mom…thanks….for everything! I love you forever!
Special thanks to Ann Schach of The Stampin’ Schach who sent me the beautiful lace and embellishments for this card.
That’s it, folks! Happy Mother’s Day!
Linking this to Moxie Fab World Tuesday Trigger Pretty Petit Fours. I was inspired by the shades of pink.