While many people celebrate 22 April as Earth Day. The day has different meaning for me.
Today is the day my grandmother was blessed with the birth of my mother, Nora.
~ Happy Birthday, Mama ~
Like most, I didn't recognize the strength and depth of love my mother had until I had children of my own. Isn't it a shame that we don't see these qualities in the ones closest to us until later in life? I that I blessed to have realized how special a mother, a woman, that she is while she is still here on this earth. I'm able to tell her every day how much I appreciate and love her and I'm thankful for that.
I'm thankful to God for choosing Nora Louise to be my mother.
|This is mom as a child. To update: Mom was 12 or 13 years old in this photo.|
That's dad with my sisters and I in the lower part of this frame.
|In the photo above, she was 20 years old and holding me.|
My dad was in the military which meant we traveled a lot. Some homes were more temporary than others making it difficult to connect with other people in the communities we moved through. I think my mother dealt with these short stays by having a book with her all the time. She use to tell my sisters and I that we could go anywhere in the world or escape from the place we were in simply by opening a book. She would also say that as long as we had a book or a library nearby, there was never any cause to be bored. She also wrote stories that she never, to my knowledge, attempted to publish.
She would often tell us to research the things we did not know rather than give us the answers to our questions immediately upon request. She taught us to engage our brains and not look for the quick or easy answer - no shortcuts in my home growing up. At least, not when it related to learning.
|Here is mom with my sisters and I at |
Buffalo Bill Cody's gravesite in the 60s.
Like so many other families we knew, we had a set of encyclopedias in our home complete with yearly updated volumes and the classics. And poetry. The first 'grown up' poetry I remember reading as a child was from a volume which included the works of Byron, Keats and Shelley. I fell in love with poetry, with words, while reading that book. I still have it here, tattered and yellowing. It's one of my prize possessions.
|Here she is at the daylily farm in Taylor, Alabama a few years ago.|
I remember and appreciate my mother's encouraging words when I was growing up. She told me more times than I can count that I could and should write stories. Short stories and novels. She insisted, at a time when girls were just beginning to step out of their long-held stereotypical roles, that I could be anything I wanted to be and if my dream was to write, I should not let anything or anyone stand in the way of that dream.
|These are my parents, Don and Nora, walking the trail between their |
home and mine. It is one of my favorite photos of them.
Peaceful, happy, content and together.