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Mother's Day Memories

Posted Sunday, May 11, 2008, at 8:46 AM

Happy Mother's Day, ladies!
Last night a friend of mine said that the most love he could think of was a room full of mothers. He had been to the nursing home to see his own mother and take part in the Mother's Day celebration, but I know the event was bittersweet for him. She's not in pain, and that's a blessing, in itself.

My Mother's Day was yesterday, when my middle child Matthew, his wonderful wife Laura, and my adorable almost-two-year-old grandson Evan were here. Evan and I played together all day, while his mom and dad surprised me with a new flower bed, a clean front porch, and a delicious lunch! What a wonderful memory that will make!

Flowers arrived from my son and his family in Minneapolis (see photo), however, the best Mother's Day present from them was the February 25 birth of their third child, a daughter named Claire Coleen (good Irish name!)

Daughter Kristin called from Memphis to tell me she had made it home from a training trip to Norfolk, and that was a Mother's Day present in itself. She called earlier in the week, supposedly to check on the cats, but I have a feeling that she was also checking on Mom, who received an adorable cat Mother's card earlier in the week.

I wish my own mom could be here to see her great grandchildren, as they grow and thrive.

Thank you, God, for the blessing of children and grandchildren, as we celebrate this most wonderful day!

Showing comments in chronological order
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There was a golf tournament on today, and it was so refreshing to hear the men talk about what their mother's influence meant to them. Most of the time, men are quick to rave about their fathers, but they seem to think they'll be called "sissies," if they talk about their mothers!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, May 11, 2008, at 7:24 PM

Hey, I just saw on the "Weird News" that a woman was pregnant with her 18th child. One of the mothers of a student I taught (years ago & I won't say where) had had 21 children. No lie. 18 of them had lived, two had been miscarriages.

At the time, I had two of her daughters in my high school classes, there were two more in junior high, and they told me that their mom was wanting another child.

The two older girls were very good students and so responsible! Of course, they had to be - since they were in charge of the younger ones much of the time.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, May 11, 2008, at 7:37 PM

Wow! 21 children?!?! Not for me! I had a very blessed day. Wasn't allowed to raise a finger from the time I got up until after dinner dishes were done. I got bored though haha. I hope all you ladies had a wonderful Mother's Day.

I will be spending the next month planning what to do for Father's Day...I've just about expired all my ideas in the past 7 years, so I have my work cut out for me.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sun, May 11, 2008, at 8:34 PM

I'm not a mother, but I enjoyed Mother's Day at church and afterwards with my brother and my nephew. The nephew is like a son to me, so it was cute that he chose to spend the afternoon with me. He brought pictures of his 1 year old son so I could scan them and save them to a disc for him (keeping a copy for myself along the way, of course).

We spent some time talking and laughing about "Gram." That's Madeline's and my mother who's been gone just over two years now. She always made the grandkids laugh by telling stories on herself. Madeline's son, Todd, will say "remember when Gram set her fingernail on fire?" She was lighting a cigarette and the multiple layers of fingernail polish caught fire. Then there was the time she said "Oh my gosh, I've got my pants on backwards." She would proceed to ham it up until the kids were in stitches.

Madeline's kids all loved to watch Gram sort socks, of all things. They would gather around the laundry basket that Madeline saved for Gram and she would entertain them with her sorting antics. They're all grown, two of them with kids of their own, and to this day you'll get a laugh out of them if you mention sorting socks.

My nephew with the 1 year old, remembers telling his mom "I'm sick, you'd better call Gram." She was the lap of choice whenever they needed an owie kissed or a tear dried.

She lived through some very hard times and never lost her inner strength or her sense of humor. In our family, it's always been our sense of humor that gets us through the inevitable hard times. We can thank our mom, our "Gram," for that. It will probably be her most lasting legacy.

Congratulations to all the moms out there.

-- Posted by mokath52 on Mon, May 12, 2008, at 12:58 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Yes, sister dear, Mom could make the most simple activity fun. I remember one of the kids shouting, "Gram's gonna sort socks!!" and they would all come running, sitting on the living floor, watching her try to match socks. She insisted she could find the mates, even when I knew it was a hopeless cause.

It has been said by Hillary Clinton, "It takes a village" to raise a child. Although that may be somewhat true, it's still takes a mother to truly raise a child with the help of others. It reminds me of Suzannah Wesley. She had 19 children whom she homeschooled before sending them on to college. John and Charles Wesley probably would not be famous today had it not been for their Mother. Another great mother was Phoebe Palmer, the mother of the American Holiness Movement which started with her Tuesday Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness in 1835.

-- Posted by swift on Mon, May 12, 2008, at 4:18 PM

I remember my grandmother this Mother's Day too. Going to visit her was never dull, even though there were rarely other kids around. She always kept a variety of interesting things for us to play with. Not the kind of toys kids play with today, just neat things that you had to use some imagination with. I remember she kept them in a flat box under her bed. There were old wooden peg type clothes pins that became little people. There were assorted little blocks, boxes and mismatched animal figures. I remember entertaining myself for hours with that box of stuff while she puttered around her little place making cookies or reading.

When I was about 9 or so, she taught me to sew on her old Singer treadle sewing machine. That was such a wonderful machine. The pumping of the treadle and the click clack of the needle going up and down almost sounded like music.

She started me out on little pillow cases for my dolly. She made it seem like such a milestone for me. I felt so grown up. I only put the needle through the very tip of my finger once and from then on I knew to keep my fingers back. it was a lesson that lasted me the rest of my life, through home-ec classes, sewing my own clothes in high school, college and after, and later as a seamstress in my mom's drapery shop.

Madeline inherited Grandma's sewing machine. It's been a comfort to me to know that it's safe. It wouldn't have been if Mom had given it to one of the boys. We had some adventures with that old machine. Wonder if we should have someone clean, oil and adjust for us and start using it again? What do you think, dearest?

-- Posted by mokath52 on Mon, May 12, 2008, at 10:54 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Good idea. I'll have to check around and see if anyone can do that anymore.

Do you remember that summer in Cape - before air-conditioning, when you came to visit us, and it was SO HOT? We used Grandma's sewing machine to make mumus. I had no idea what to do with that weird bobbin, which looked like a spaceship. Imagine my surprise when you threaded it and began sewing! I was busy being a teenager when Grandma was teaching you how to sew, up there in her bedroom on the Smith farm at Pyletown.

Didn't we also make curtains with that machine? There was a very strange attachment for gathering the material, if I remember right...

This Mother's Day rolled around exactly like it did when my son was born 33 years ago.

I was 12 days overdue, big as a cow, everyone calling and wondering if I had finally gone into labor. No such luck. I kept thinking it would sure be nice to have my baby on Mother's Day, but it was not to be.

The next morning, Monday, May 12, 1975, I awoke and thought something didn't feel right. It was labor! My husband was teaching and after school had baseball practice, so I held off as long as I could and finally called him at 4:00pm to GET HOME. We flew to the hospital in our brand new 1975 Volkswagen Super Beetle. Two hippies getting ready to grow up!

Jack was born at 12:27am Tuesday. We almost made Mother's Day!

So Happy Birthday, Jack! 33 and my only one! I've already called him this morning.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Tue, May 13, 2008, at 8:39 AM

Oh yeah, I remember those mumus. What a hot summer - we had heat rash as I recall. That's what drove us to the desperate measure of sewing in the first place.

I remember the belt was loose on the sewing machine, so I had to treadle like mad and you had to stand next to the right and keep the wheel moving. We made quite a silly looking pair for sure. Still, we got the mumus done and were much cooler for it.

Yes, I remember the curtains too. The gathering attachment looked like an instrument from a torture chamber. It really was ingenious, quite a piece of engineering, with all kinds of little sprockets and gears.

That's what I like about our family - every task is just another new adventure. Hooray! The adventure continues. Indiana Jones has nothing on us.

-- Posted by mokath52 on Tue, May 13, 2008, at 12:22 PM

Hahaha! Good memories all the way 'round!

Lovebooks, I have a son born 34 years ago. What an experience! I think I was throwing things at the nurses before my ten hours of labor were over!

"You're NOT coming in here to check me AGAIN!" I remember screaming. "I haven't dialated ANY since the LAST time you were here! Get your hand OUT OF THERE, and LEAVE ME ALONE!!!"


Thank God it got easier with the next two...

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, May 13, 2008, at 6:30 PM

Ahhh...reminiscing about labor and delivery are we GL? Mine are only 6 and 4 (almost 7 and 5), but it was just like yesterday...as I'm sure it always will be. I didn't scream or throw things or even cuss (though I felt like it). No pain meds for me like most women opt for nowdays. I was blessed with easy, quick labors...one 2 hours long, and one 3 hours long. Though those may seem like a cakewalk, I can assure you that the 4 weeks before both arrived were just as bad, as I spent those 8 weeks total in labor. I'm not sure how I ever survived...but that's what seperates the women from the men...could you see them enduring labor??? That's funny...

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Tue, May 13, 2008, at 10:15 PM

Hahaha! Overpopulation would certainly NOT be a problem, if men had to have the babies!!!

Can't you just visualize the violence in the labor room if a guy were on the delivery end of the deal?? They would be throwing the NURSES out of the room - instead of throwing things AT the nurses!! Hahaha!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, May 14, 2008, at 8:53 AM

Hey, if men had to give birth there would be NO second children! Probably very few first ones. Hahahahaha!

-- Posted by Ducky on Wed, May 14, 2008, at 12:11 PM

All the babies would end up being delivered to outside sources because they'd throw all the nurses and knock out the doctors...and they say it's "easy!" HA I SAY!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Wed, May 14, 2008, at 6:38 PM

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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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