As I grew up in that small town of Gilchrist, my mom had an incredible influence on my life.
She taught me love and caring. When you were down, it was her hand on your back telling you that it was OK. She didn't want you to dwell on it and expected you to pick yourself up but you knew she understood.
She taught me how to respect. Harsh words for others were not a part of her vocabulary. If you got out of line, she patiently brought you back in. I have talked about that one in an earlier post.
She taught me discipline. Boy, she had a handle on that one. That little lady controlled three boys that were within three years on one another. With her feet firmly set, you did your chores or you dealt with her and you didn't want the latter.
She taught me that being you was an OK thing to be. I remember her giving me the book, "I'm OK, your OK". She knew at the time that I was struggling with who I was.
My earliest remembrance was being in a room with her as she sang and hummed while ironing some clothes. I remember feeling very warm and comfortable.
She was always at my concerts or plays. I would always know that she was out there somewhere in the audience.
I remember her laughing at three silly boys who seemed to always be fighting with each other over something. She didn't protect me there, however, as she wanted me to be tough and stand up for myself. That was most evident when I defended myself against my brother Marvin. Marvin held me down with his head bleeding on me. I yelled for her and she said, "Well, you shouldn't have hit him over the head with that fry pan."
I remember her laughing as I walked up to the house with my brothers and David Nelson with that red and white wobble right hanging out of the side of my head. I was swimming and David wanted to fish. She later had another laugh when I hooked the back of my head while trying to cast out.
I remember when she came to my rescue when I was using the old washing machine that had the ringer that was two rollers that squeezed the water out of the clothes. I caught my hand in it and it began to grab my arm. She quickly hit the button that released the rollers.
I remember when we had that huge storm while living down in Crescent. We all huddled in the middle of the living room while she prayed. While the storm raged outside, I was comforted by her prayers.
I remember her keeping all of us kids entertained in sleepy downtown Bend while our father was busy with just a simple little ping pong ball placed on a sidewalk. We watched to see what people who walked by would do with it.
I remember that she loved to sing. She loved and still does love Hawaiian music.
There are so many things that I remember that if I tried to put them all down, I would still be writing at the end of the day and that would not be good because there is one my very important thing that I remember. I remember that today is her birthday.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!