Tuesday, February 1, 2011

An Iowa Farm Wife

On February 1, 1954, an Iowa farm wife gave birth to a daughter. She was 26 years old and already had 3 other children, 2 boys and another daughter. She had grown up in the city, so being a farm wife had its own share of challenges,and eventually she would have a 5th child, a boy, finishing their family of seven. She worked hard inside and outside, teaching her daughters how to cook and sew, serving as their 4-H leader for many years. She raised a very large vegetable garden, full of tomatoes that she canned, beans and peas that she put up, and acres of sweet corn that she froze for her large family. She also had several flower gardens that she tended and a large yard that she mowed. Their daughters helped with the housework and the sons helped their dad in the fields. As the kids got older they all learned how to have a good work ethic, helping wherever needed on the farm.

It was a very active, full life, and eventually she and her husband moved to Arizona where they were semiretired for several years and then fully retired. Her husband of over 50 years passed away, and she moved to Wisconsin to live by her oldest daughter, where she remains today.

This Iowa farm wife is my mom, and she gave birth to me 57 years ago today.  I visited with her on the phone this morning, and it is hard to hear how much more the Alzheimer's has taken from her, although she still remembers her children and likes to hear about her great grandchildren. She was having a sad day today, as winter there has been cold with lots of snow, and she doesn't get out much. But we had a nice visit, talking about what it was like to raise 5 kids on the farm, and I thanked her for giving birth to me. I don't get to see her very often, and I am so thankful that my dear sister and her husband take such good care of her.

So today I like to say "Happy Birth Day" to my mom, Doris, for giving birth to
 me and for the life she and my dad provided for me and my siblings.
Ours was a complex family relationship, as many families are, with many happy and
many difficult times together, but God saw fit to put us all together,
 and I am very thankful for that. I am also thankful for the past few years that
He has allowed grace in our relationships,so that we may have these
 years together with love, forgiveness and gratefulness for each other.

 Alzheimer's may steal memories, but it cannot rob us of family and love.


LDH said...

A very Happy Birthday wish to you, Laurie! So precious that you share your joyful day with your mom. My mother-in-law suffered from severe Alzheimer's. My dad did not have Alzheimer's but had senility and dementia. He repeated stories over and over but still remembered everyone.

Very sweet post :)

Maxine said...

Oh, Laurie, Happy Birthday one day late. What a precious post; it made me very teary. (That's happening a lot to me lately.) This was such a sweet tribute to your mom, and I think it very nice that you chose the anniversary of your birth to talk about her. Alzheimer's is so sad. So hard to see this happen to someone we love. I'm glad you got to have that time with her on the phone. Saying a prayer for her, and for you.

Nama said...

What a wonderful, sweet post. It made me smile, tear up & re-live my own childhood on and around the farm, my own Mom's big vegetable garden, snapping peas, shucking corn, weeding, putting up peaches, canning beans and the list goes on. I loved growing up like that & what you said about good work ethics is so true for those of us blessed to grow up with plenty of work to do. What a beautiful mother you have and what an honorable and loving tribute to her. Happy belated birthday to you, Laurie! (((hugs))))

Elisa said...

Happy belated birthday, Laurie. I really enjoyed this post. My grandmother had Alzheimer's too. It is the reason we moved to the United States...to take care of her. I'm so glad we did. I think it's so important to pass down the stories of our histories.

Rhonda said...

Happy Belated Birthday ...what beautiful love for your mother, your smile says so much more than your words...my heart has been touched!