Today would have been my Mother's 99th birthday. I was born on her birthday so it is just one more of many hundreds of things we shared. She always said she could never forget her birthday since she always helped me celebrate mine.
Mom was one of those "Greatest Generation" people who was born long before WWII and was married with three children before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Dad was a bit older at the time of the war's beginning, and with a wife and three children he escaped being called into the war effort for awhile, but finally was drafted in spite of his age and family situation.
From the point Dad left for his army duties Mom was the head of the household. After his training and before he shipped out for Germany, Dad started the events that led to my Mother's October 1944 birthday presenting her with a gift of yet another son. It was later that I learned I had been labeled as a "war baby". Now with four children and a husband embroiled in the war effort ten thousand miles away, Mom had to use her strength and savvy to provide for herself and her family.
People in those days endured trials and grief that as a child growing up after the war and during the next two or three decades was seldom endured. Making dollars stretch, finding the best bargains in food and clothes and teaching respect for each other fell to Mom. She always made the best of it always giving her family the very best she could.
Looking back I can see where Mom was the doctor, teacher, lawyer, preacher, mender, disciplinarian, arbitrator of arguments, provider, soother of hurts, but always Mom. She cooked all the meals, washed all the clothes, shopped for all the clothes, took us to church and Sunday School, kept us all on course and made it fun to be in "our family".
Mom was special because she spent her life "raising" her kids, caring for them, counseling them, advising them and most of all, loving them. The Bible says that the length of a human life is but a "vapor" that is here today and gone tomorrow. As one generation comes and goes another takes its place. Mom is gone now, but she left her mark on each of her children and their children as well. We miss you Mom and love you very much!