I was born in 1955 in the town only 17 miles from where she died.Now I will return on Saturday to lay her to rest.. My father proceeded her in death by more than 10 years and now she will at last be rejoined with him.
My parents grew up in the tail end of the depression and much of what they taught me was based upon the hard life education they gleaned from that era. When I was born my father was enlisted in the United States Air Force after having served in both World War II and in the Korean Conflict. I am so very proud of him… but even more proud of my mother who was left behind and who through her strength upon his return from conflict built a family in the midst of uncertainty in light of his wartime disabilities.
My sister was born three years before me. By the time I was born my parents had settled down only 17 miles from the place they would both eventually perish… how odd that is to me to reflect that this is where my life began. I didn’t live very long in Wichita Falls, Texas because from there my father’s military service carried us throughout the USA, over the Atlantic Ocean and all over Europe. While my father was solving military issues my mother steadily cared for her children. She was not only my mother, she was my cub scout leader, my Little League coach… my compass in life….
Extraordinarily I lived in many states and overseas in Germany but my mother made it seem so innocuous to me. How perfect it was as a child to be so clueless to your surroundings… what a perfect mother to protect and shield her children from all the shortcomings of society. Yet she instilled in me the values so important to humankind.
As I grew up and entered my teenage years there is no doubt that I was quite a challenge… after all I was a teenager during the waning years of the flower power era… hippies, drugs, sex and rock and roll! It must have been so hard for those of her generation to understand the sweeping changes about to occur in the youth of America. Yet she endured and continued her teaching of values, mores and simply what was right… integrity, honesty and trustworthiness. Steadfast and good traits one would hope to find in any human being.
I left the house when I was barely 18 and like my father enlisted in the military… the United States Air Force. Unlike my father the military way of life was not my calling and I was honorably discharged after one term of service during the Vietnam era. I never saw Vietnam as I was entrusted to oversee the maintenance of many Minuteman Missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads to places unknown. After leaving South Dakota and returning back to Texas it wasn’t long before I found my soul mate Sharon and we were married in 1975.
We were married nearly 6 years when I told my mother that it was unlikely that she would have any grandchildren from us… She cried, but little did I know when I informed her of that decision Sharon was pregnant with our first born child and her first grandchild… she was elated!. Eight years later we thought there would be only one grandchild for Margie but Sharon was once again pregnant and Margie had a granddaughter to go along with her grandson, the first of both for her…
Sharon and I raised our children with same values my mother taught me… She was very proud of both of them… I only wish she had been able to know them and my son’s family better but as my parents aged health issues seemed to plague them keeping them very close to home. Could we have visited more? Certainly. However life has a way of accelerating when you least expect it and before we knew it the kids were graduated from high school and leading their own lives.
Crazy to think how fast time travels when yet there are times that it seemingly crawls at a snails pace. Then before you know… life ends and no longer exists… it did so for my mom on December, 3, 2013… Mom, I am so glad you are no longer in pain!
I Love you Mom and please say hello to dad for me…