My mother's birthday was last week and while I think of her everyday, I was especially remembering her on that day. Valentine's Day is approaching and she will always be in my heart too. Sometimes when someone who is dear to you passes away, I think you tend to canonize them and that is absolutely so with me. Grandpa was Norwegian-second generation American from Norway and named Mom for an old girlfriend, Elinor. Grandma refused to call her that name...lol (I've always wondered where she was when Mom was named???) so she was called Jean, her middle name her whole life. When she signed her name, she signed it E. Jean. I sometimes wish we had named Chelsea, Elin after her (pronounced E-lin, with emphasis on the E) till the Tiger Woods scandal.
She was an only child and because of that loved being with people all the time. She was a talker but everyone loved her too....she never met a stranger, had a kind word for everyone and loved the Lord mightily. She was a late bloomer...raised us 3 girls, then went back to school and worked at the same time teaching grade school. She got her degree at age 50 and then her Masters at 55. We had a huge hog roast party for her and party was her middle name! She was spunky always ready to try a new adventure. I have pictures of her cross country skiing in her 60's and scuba diving then too!
She was a strict mother yet we always knew that we were very loved. She had jobs for all of us to do each day and on the weekend which involved "get your work done first and then we can have fun!" Often we had something planned after. There are so many special memories! We each had one wonderful birthday party as a child. In days when parties are not like they are now and on a shoestring budget, mine was a treasure hunt in which there were clues and guests had to find the final gift...a treasure of candy and gum for each. Then there was an obstacle course, over and under things at the end of which was a cherry tree with 30 all day suckers tied on with colored ribbons! My sister's BD was in October and on a perfect fall day there was a hayride and bon fire with s'mores. Our third sister's was much like mine so you can see what imagination she had and what a great teacher she was! She won top honors in Chicago for teacher of the year over 1,000 applicants. She even went on to author some teaching manuals and bulliten board books.
Sitting here I think about retiring after a few years and realize she was still very vital at my age and I want to strive to do that too. I am lucky to have such an amazing blueprint of how to live! Thanks for that wonderful Valentine gift, Mom!
3 days ago