|Art work by Ann at Zoolatry|
I'm deviating a little this week by doing a post as a tribute to my own mother, who left this world for a better place in 1995 at the age of 78 after suffering from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease for only about 4 years. In my eyes, she was a great lady - a hero. No, you would not have ever heard her name unless our families knew each other - she wasn't famous. But she was a very strong, courageous lady - ahead of her era. And I truly admire her for her strength and miss her so much even tho she's been gone for so many years.
Martha (Mom) was second oldest of 10 children and had to drop out of school in the 8th grade to help on the farm, which was typical of her generation. Her teacher talked to Grandpa and tried to convince him that Martha was very smart and should stay in school. But in grandpa's eyes, only boys needed to graduate from High School - a woman's place was in the home taking care of the kids. How times have changed - thank God! Her life was a hard one, yet she never complained.
She married my biological father about a year before I came along. I think she married him to escape an alcoholic, abusive father at home. Unknowingly, my father was also an alcoholic. She divorced him when I was about 3 because she wanted something better for me than how she grew up - in an alcoholic, abusive household. The final straw came for her when one night my biological father was sitting in the tavern drinking, as he often did, when I was at home with an extremely high temperature and had pneumonia. Mother told me i nearly died that night, but a neighbor came over and took she and I to the hospital so I could be treated. To get me out of that environment, she packed me up and we moved with one of her married sisters until she could find a job. She spent a few years being a live-in housekeeper so we would have a place to live too.
Keep in mind that she hadn't even graduated from high school. Also keep in mind this was in the 1930's and 40's. Women just didn't get divorced in those days - you were supposed to stand by your man! But she wanted more for me than alcoholism and physical/mental abuse. A divorced person was looked down upon back in those days - yes, truly they were. In fact, many times you were shunned. Some people would not let their children play with your children for fear of what you might do to their children! After all, you were DIVORCED!
She eventually met and married my stepfather when I was in 3rd grade. He was a very nice man and really the one I look to and referred to as my dad. he he - I remember being very sad when my mother got married again because it had just been she and I for all my life (that I could remember). Now this strange man was going to come between us. But that strange man was wonderful to me and treated me like a daughter.
I know her story is not all that unusual of that generation (except for being divorced - which just was not ever done back then) but I wanted to share why I loved and respected my mother so much. She was one strong, gutsy lady to strike out on her own with no job and no education and a small baby to boot!
I think sometimes we forget about all the sacrifices our parents have made or are making in our behalf. I certainly never thought about all this when she was alive, so I never thanked her for it. And I wished I had. So this mother dear, is a tribute to you for all you have sacrificed for me. Mother, you were the best and I love you for all you did for me.
Happy Mother's Day to to all you dear readers too. If you are a mother to either a human or furbaby, you are appreciated even if we don't tell you often enough.