Thursday, February 10, 2011

E. Jean

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!

23 comments:

His Doorkeeper said...

Donna, What a sweet tribute to your Mother. My Mom has been gone 5 years now and I don't think a day hardly goes by that I don't think of her.

You have a lovely family and darling grandbabies! Aren't we blessed?

Wander to the Wayside said...

"...amazing blueprint of how to live", indeed! How incredibly fortunate you were to have such a mother, and she to have raised a daughter who, by all indications on this blog, has followed in her footsteps in so many ways. Lovely tribute.

Julia said...

Donna, what a beautiful tribute to your mom. You are very fortunate to have had such a mother to leave you a great blueprint of how to live.

Her legacy lives on in you and your children. It is so appropriate to honnor her this way. JB

Darlene said...

Oh Donna, your Mom was so beautiful. Your tribute to her was so interesting too. She sounds like she was a very accomplished person in every way. I do so admire her for getting her education, even though she was in her 50's. And to imagine her skiing in her 60's!! It's hard for ME to imagine. Her birthday parties sound really great too!

You know, I always used to say that I would be happy if I could live as long as my mom did. She died when she was 82 and I will be 84 in April, so I have outlived her by almost two years! I want you to know that never a day goes by but what I don't miss her and I find myself talking to her in my mind quite a lot. It is comforting to feel her so close to me. I know you must miss her terribly. Just remember, she is not very far away.

Hope said...

beautiful tribute Donna! I think you are right about the canonizing but it is the good things about the person that we tend to take for granted during their time on earth and that is what we miss the most about them after they are gone. Sounds like a wonderful woman that deserves to be admired and followed with her many good examples.

my mother's been gone for 8yrs now and I still think of her everyday.

Lovely memories... wonderful post!
thank you

Farm Girl said...

That is a beautiful post about your Mom. What a great legacy to leave you. What a blessing to be loved like that. You left a nice comment on my blog about my husband and the perm. My husband has been like that,always. He is just nice. So thank you for your very kind comment.

yaya said...

I really enjoyed getting to know your Mom after they moved here. She was a fun lady. It was always great to walk to your folks condo with Sam and Scoob on a nice summer evening..and use her bathroom! HaHaHa! I have that really cool Santa that was hers and I'll treasure it. I can't get over how much Lynn looks like her! You have her creativity for having a good time with your kiddos and grandkiddos. And to think, your folks and mine lived so close in Chicago and we didn't know it forever! I'll always remember her and think of her fondly.

karen said...

What a wonderful legacy your mother left you! She truly sounds like an inspiration - but a very touchable, huggable one. She sounds a lot like my grandmother, who also never met a stranger, and is the life of every party. It seems to me you live up to her sweet influence quite nicely. I'm sure it's a total pleasure to know you, so your mother gave you a great gift.

acorn hollow said...

What wonderful memories of your mom you have. It is so hard to lose our parents no matter how old we are.
Cathy

Sue said...

What an accomplished woman your mother was. It's cool that she had the interest and energy to go to school at 50 and get her masters at 55. I love that!

I'll be she was a good teacher. It's clear that she was a good mother.

Wonderful tribute, Donna.

=)

becky said...

What a lovely mom you had and this is such a sweet tribute to her. My mom is 90 and living in an assisted living home...she gets sweeter every day!

Kerri said...

Donna- your mom is beautifull....and sounds amazing. What courage and determination it must have taken to earn a degree at the age of 50. I LOVE that.

mollygolver said...

Donna that is such a lovely post. I think your mother would have been so proud of her daughter and all her family too!

Lesa said...

What a nice tribute! My Mom has been gone 10 years and I still miss her. Your Mom and my Mom sound a lot alike.

Jennifer said...

What a nice tribute!

rosaria said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mom. She'd love all the memories you have, all the sweet thoughts you embrace her with on this Valentine weekend.

Nezzy said...

Oh my sweetie you Mama sounds like she was an amazin' woman. She lives through you my friend.

I will talk to Angel's mom and see what is needed. I know we were sent many winter items but she's gonna need some things for summer. She wears a size small tee in womans and a 14-16 in girls. I need to see what size bottoms she wears but I'm hopin' that will change soon due to gained weight. I'll let ya know and thanks for wantin' to so something for her.

God bless and have a marvelous weekend!!! :o)

Nezzy said...

Sweetie, I don't see your email in your profile. If you will go to my profile and email me I will answer and send you an address.

Thanks and have a blessed day!!!

Deb Shucka said...

Your mom sounds like she was such an amazing woman. How lucky you are. This was a beautiful tribute to her.

Vintage Linen Treasures said...

What a beautiful post. Your mom was certainly an amazing woman. What a blessing she was to you and you to her.
Patricia

Beth Dunn said...

She sounds awesome! Happy Valentines day.
xoxo
SC

Life 101 said...

A beautiful post, Donna. I still have my mom, but she's almost blind and deaf now and in a nursing home.
My sisters and I go every day to visit her and she seems so frail.
Thanks for your post, it's a reminder to never take my mom for granted.

saltbox treasures said...

What a beautiful tribute to your wonderful mother! An encouragement to all of us. I can't imagine going back to school and becoming a teacher at my age. Thanks for sharing.
~ Julie