My Mom's illness took her away just at the time in our lives when we both were appreciating each other the most. The miles had separated us for a few years and we were finally starting to get to know each other as adult women and not as mother and daughter. Sadly she slipped away far too soon. I often wonder what she would have been like at 70, 80 or even at 90 -- which was as long as her own mother had lived. Would her beautiful dark hair have turned white? She hardly had a gray hair when she left me. Unanswered questions that I shouldn't dare ask, but I do.
I think I was quite lucky to have had such wonderful, strong women in my life. My grandmothers were both true 'Pioneer Women' or maybe 'Prairie Women' is more accurate. They were the typical farmers wife in the 1930's in the prairie states of the Midwest. They did all the things in the poems below -- baked, cooked, cleaned, quilted, gardened and mostly without the modern conveniences of today. I want to share a few family photos and some poetry I came across that reminds me of my own Mother and Grandmothers.
|art by Edith Holden|
Her cookies are the best ones made;
No one can match her lemonade;
She cures the best of country ham
And makes delicious berry jam.
A better pie no one can make,
Or even touch her chocolate cake.
Her pickles are so crisp and nice;
Her peaches are just right with spice.
And when I ask her recipe,
She shakes her head and smiles at me,
"Oh, I just guess at it, my dear."
And now it seems to me quite clear,
One things that's used, all else above --
Her main ingredient is love.
Esther L. Dauber
Mom at Graduation Me & Mom Before marriage she worked as a secretary
Like swift-winged swallows, her small hands flew,
Dipping and darting the bright thread through,
Over and under the steel flashed true--
Silent staccato and constant rhyme.
And, oh, I wonder -- did she divine
That the threads would hold, and the quaint design
Should someday rest on a bed of mine,
Bridging the mystical gulf of time?
|Art by Edith Holden|
Lengthening shadows bring memories
Of days that have passed us by;
And I think of time and I think of life,
And I sometimes wonder why
That time can't be stayed and enjoyed without loss
As the sun and earth and sky.
and the more I think, the more I am sure
That nothing can ever be lost,
That time is the garden of memory
And life is but part of the cost.
So we trade our lives for those memories
And we live each golden day,
And the flowers we grow in our garden
May have petals bright and gay,
Or they may be dark and depressing things
If we live our lives that way.
So each one may choose and invest his time,
For time is a part of the cost;
And each one must live with his memories
For nothing can ever be lost.
Robert M. Clarke
Here is something dear to my heart. I found this poem in my Mom's things a year or so after her death when I was sorting through a box. Here it is pasted in my journal.
It's a poem by Longfellow, written in her own hand.
Thank you Mom for this wonderful gift!