Saturday, May 8, 2010

For My Mom!

The year is 2010 and sadly another year has passed by without Mom here with us to make our lives complete. My Mom has been gone now for nearly 10 years, yet is seems like just yesterday that we were all together. Time has such a funny way of moving so fast yet we are very lucky that our thoughts and memories have a way of staying with us, often making the past seem as though it was just yesterday.

My Mom was part of the glue that held our family tightly and kept us close together. No matter what the day, Mother's Day, Christmas, or just another day of the year--ours were always bound by the ties to Mom and Dad. Since Mom passed away in 2000 our family has slowly drifted a bit further apart, not because we all have not stayed close but because the reason we were all bound together on those special days is now gone. Our family gatherings were always at Mom's house. That is where we had the big family meals, gathered for the good times and also the place we always grieved together in times of loss. We now just seem to spread out with our families which have grown more too and have come to the time when our newest memories now are made with our own families. Going to Mom's house- now means my house! I am the one who lived closest to my own Mother but not a day went by that one of my brothers or myself did not call or stop by to see Mom and Dad. We were all so close and that is the testament to the strength of our Mom.

Words will never begin to express what my Mother was to me. If I could write a book, I am sure that all the facts and memories would never all get told. Those memories are special and many only private to me and her. It is my hope that you might know my Mom from just a few special things that come to mind. Irene Dorothy Moore
Coleman was born on April 3, 1916 in Alliance, Nebraska. She raised three children here, worked here and owned a business here. This was her home and she never wished to live anywhere else in the world. She did love to travel but always said the sight of the Nebraska Sandhills was the best there was upon nearing home after a long trip. Even some of the Grandchildren might not know that Mom was an adventurer too. For over 60 years she and Dad adventured in the outdoors. Dad loved to hunt and Mom often went along just for the ride and she was the one who took my brothers out hunting after school if Dad was working. If fishing or camping was on the agenda, then Mom was the first to start packing. She never minded the heat, cold or sometimes nasty conditions that went with the outdoors, especially in the earlier years when tents were poor quality and camping gear was sparse or make do- because she was with her family and having fun. For 40 years of the time that Mom and Dad were together, one could find her riding on the back of his motorcycle as they adventured across the roads. They took trips to Wyoming, the Black Hills, and Montana, always looking to the west. In the early years of "Sturgis", they never missed a trip, dressed in their black skid leathers, long before they became the fashion of the day. When I got old enough to go with Dad, Mom gave up her spot on the bike to me. Those were great memories of riding with Daddy but looking back, I think it was just Mom wanting me to experience the same great fun and she knew that it was important for me to have time with Dad.

The gentle side of Mom was in her home, yard and garden. I don't know where she got the extra time but she kept a very nice yard and loved to spend time in it. Roses, peonies, glads, poppies and pansies, those are the things that I really remember her spending time with. The little garden of pansies that was the back door of our house for many years is forever in my memory: I can see Mom sitting on the sidewalk there by the door, weeding that patch with such great care. She was a flower show judge for many years too and of course entered her floral beauties in those shows as well as at the yearly county fairs. The beautiful tall gladiolus blooms still come to mind, as I recall getting to help her with those arrangements. She always included me in whatever she was doing. I have dozens of her winning ribbons in my collection of memorabilia. My love of crafting came from her too. We tried it all together at least once, I am sure. Even after Mom's eyesight was nearly gone she still loved to go to the craft shows and to see what was new. She could no longer see to make the pretty crafts and jewelry she had done for so many years but never lost her interest and was always ready to get out and go see what others were offering for sale.

My Mom worked most of her married life in various types of business. She worked for several years at a small local grocery/ meat locker where she became lifelong friends with the owners, was sales person in the catalog department of Montgomery Wards through my childhood days and sold Stanley products, Tupperware and Elmcraft wedding announcements for many years. I do not remember a time, not even one when she complained because she was tired or had experienced a hard day. The evening meals were always on the table and enjoying her family at home was always put first. In the early 1960's she bought a local ladies' ready to wear store, "Mode O' Day" and owned that until the late 1970's when she and Daddy retired to once again hit the road with some travel together, by then in their motor home. I worked for Mom in that store all the years she owned it and it was a wonderful experience for me and best of all, I got to spend time with Mom. From her I learned how to run a business, deal with people, and how to display and sell merchandise: all skills carried over into my own business which I ran for over 30 years. We had fun together through those years which was the best memory of all.

Mom had seven grandchildren and at the time eight great grandchildren. She loved them all dearly and some of her best times were when all the family was able to be together. A houseful of family with all the kids was her idea of fun. She was the cook and boy was she the best at it! Homemade noodles, chili, chicken and dumplings, pies, apple dumplings and pineapple panouche candy with suet pudding for the holidays. All of the family still talks about her food, although we laugh about her "beans" as she always made enough baked beans to feed the whole town. The house was so full when family got together that you had to go out the front door, around to the back door and back in to fill up your plate for the second go 'round of great food! To go back to one of those days just once more....

As this Mother's Day approaches, I am again reminded of the last two years of my Mom's life. The loss of my Dad in 1998 was devastating to her. They had been married for 62 years and had been together for nearly 70 years as a couple. Her eye sight was nearly gone, her health was declining, and the love of her life was gone. Mom moved in with us and during her last year it was difficult for us all. The role we all played had suddenly been reversed in life. My husband and I became the caretakers for Mom. It was difficult for us all but Mom was in many ways still her old self! She loved to go outdoors when she could, we found some craft things she could do mostly by feel and we "listened" to tv programs and movies with her. Oddly enough, "The Shawshank Redemption" and a few others became her requests because they told a story with voice which she could listen to. When my husband reminded her that she wasn't to eat salt, she let us know that she was still capable of decisions and that she wanted a bit of salt--so that was the way it was.

My Mom, as I am sure many millions of others on Mother's Day, are and were so very special but personally I put my Mom at the top of the list! The blog "Genealogy Lines" has a wonderful little write up today about Moms and the history of Mother's Day so click on over and check it out--you might be surprised at what you learn! Don't forget to take a moment to remember your Mom or to reflect on those old memories at this special time.