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Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013
Happy Mother's Day!Posted Sunday, May 8, 2011, at 7:48 AM
My mom diapers my daughter Kristin in this fuzzy 1982 photo from the past. There's my ridiculous fruit wallpaper that we put up in 1975 when we built the house. I thought the baby was one of my sons, but the little dresses give the identity away. I scanned this old photo for my daughter this year when she got married.
I'm thinking about my mother on this beautiful, rain-free sunny morning. In going back through my photos on the computer, I can find only one of her, and it's not very good.
My three children knew her as "Gram," a hilariously fun lady with bright red (later pink) hair, who could always make them laugh.
She outlived three husbands, three brothers, three sisters, and a son-in-law--and, even as she lay gasping for breath on a ventilator, I couldn't believe that she would ever die.
I think of her often. She particularly loved the springtime. Her yard was a garden of flowers--iris, lilies, giant hibiscus, tulips, and daffodils. She could make anything grow--including grandchildren, her special treasures.
She remembered the Great Depression and the hard times when her father died and the family of eight had to survive on their own with a very strong mother. As little as they had, my grandmother always managed to find something to feed the hobos when they came to the door. They chopped wood in return.
My family never knew a stranger.
My aunt Doe, the youngest in the family, told me stories of how Grandma tended the sick in the neighborhood. She was even a midwife, something I find amazing.
The women were strong in Mom's family, five sisters who grew up close to one another, even when they lived apart. I remember how they laughed around the kitchen table. Everything was okay when I heard my mother and my aunts laugh!
My mother has been gone five years now, but this Mother's Day, I feel her in my heart, warm and secure.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom! Plant an iris for me in Heaven!
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 573-722-5322.