My mother, Carrie Mae, was born a little before Christmas in 1920. She was named after her mother, who died within the next two weeks. Mostly reared by her grandmother and two aunts, she never lacked for love, even when her fatherly relationship was strained.
She played piano beautifully, although she always hated that she let it go, went to college at a time when most women didn't, worked shortly for the War Dept. in Brazil before WWII ended, took flying lessons, and came back home, still with that independent spirit.
After dating my father (16 1/2 yrs. older) for 3 years, they married and had four children in five years, of which I'm the baby.
We had an idyllic childhood out in the country running around at a time when that was the norm. Many stories later, some involving water rockets, bikes, homemade gunpowder (don't ask...), explorations, rope swings, etc., we moved to a nearby town. Can you tell I had three older brothers?? LOL
Mom bore the brunt of initially raising us when we were young, as jobs were scarce and Daddy had to travel for some years. And they both instilled in all of us the importance of honesty and integrity in this world.
She later went back to work as a fourth grade teacher for 20 years until she retired and then looked after my dad with his health issues.
After his death, she moved near us and started anew at the age of 69. Somewhat reserved and quiet around people, though delightfully funny, she was determined to forge ahead with this new life. And that she did! She traveled extensively for ten years, joined the local church group, volunteered, played a mean hand of bridge, read to her heart's content, and was a wonderful grandmother to my children and mother to me and my DH - and of course to the rest of the family, too.
We have so many cute, endearing memories of her - Lawrence Welk, Perry Mason, Liberace, duck feet, her horsey laugh as she called it, collecting recipes, always feeding someone, her love of grammar and reading, her curiosity, organizational skills, tree-climbing abilities, just to name a few; I could fill the pages. But through it all, she was always there for her family.
So how to convey a real picture of her lifetime? With love, pure and simple, just the way that she did.
I really miss you, Mom, but I'll see you by and by. With all my love forever.