I think of my mother, Mary, often, especially on December 21st. It was on this date 11 years ago that pneumonia and leukemia took her from us after 79 years.
She instilled in me a love of reading and writing and animals, respect and courtesy, politeness and compassion, and a believe in God.
As with many other women her age married to a career military man
, she endured numerous hardships ~~ having our father at sea or in a foreign country for months at a time hoping he returned alive, needing to stretch a budget on Dad's not-so-large Navy paycheck, rearing children by herself when he was away, working on an assembly line during wartime, relocating every few years (my older sister attended a different high school every year) including to Scotland when I was 12 ~~ but she handled these and other difficulties with diligence and determination.
Mom always ensured we had hot dinners and that the family enjoyed her delicious cooking at the dining table, actually talking with each other, a frequently lost part of family life today.
I can't count the number of times she watched over us when we were sick or hurt.
She believed in education and checked to make sure our homework was completed each night. When we brought home good grades and report cards she was our biggest cheerleader.
Yes, I think of Mom often and the love she showered on us children. Especially today, four days before Christmas
, when we said goodbye to her for the last time.
I choose to believe she is now resting in heaven with Dad and our other relatives whose deaths preceeded hers.
Rest in peace Mom. You deserve it. Thank you for shaping me into the man I am today. You probably did not hear "Thank you" nearly as much as you should have. But you were appreciated, and loved.