Monday, May 11, 2009

To All the Moms I've Known

Mom Vi (1911-1998)

My friend Mark once told me that my mom would
definitely be a Duchess if America had royalty.
I agree. She always liked going first-class.

However, she was born in America to humble parents.
She married during the Great Depression and
worked hard all of her life.
She knew how to scrimp and save.

She lived the American Dream.
A handsome husband with a good job.
A house in the suburbs.
Four healthy children who all graduated from college.
Being upwardly mobile was important.

Her life was probably easier than her parents.
It was unquestionably less problematic than her grandparents.
Which is not to say there weren't hardships and trials.
There were plenty of those.

Mom wanted only the best for her children.
She wanted us to be happy, fulfilled, successful.
She wanted us to believe in God
and live by the Golden Rule.

Mom liked to talk and appreciated an attentive audience.
She was a skillful story teller.
She might have been an actress or teacher--
in a different era, when mom's worked.

Sister Gail (1937-2007)

My sister was my second mom.
She was twelve years older than I,
but always acted twenty years older.

Once while she was baby-sitting me,
I threw a tantrum--big time.
She dragged me to the tub,
threw me in kicking and screaming.
Then she turned on the cold water, on my head.
I think that was my last tantrum.

Another time when she was incharge,
I got hit in the head with a rock-missile
thrown by an angry neighbor boy.
I ran home with blood gushing,
rushing down my face.
I couldn't see myself, but I'll
never forget the look on Gail's face.

No mother's expression could have been
more frightened.
That's when I cried.

Gail had no children of her own,
but she helped mother me.
I looked to her for advice, counsel, direction.
She was a noble mother.

Mom's Mom--Rebecca "Mumpsie" (1886-1945)

My maternal grandmother died before I was born.
Though I never knew her, I know I
share some of her traits.

Unlike my mother, Mumpsie did not like attention.
She hated having her picture taken.
I understand completely.

Born in Logan, Utah to an English farmer father
and a Swedish mother, Rebecca was the middle of nine
siblings, but also had nine half siblings.

Rebecca learned to blend in, not stand out.
She learned to share and be a care giver.

She raised five sons and one daughter.
Three of her sons went to war in the Pacific.
All returned safely before Mumpsie
died of breast cancer.

Mom's Maternal Grandmother--Enga (1856-1923)

My mother was born in her grandmother Enga's home.
Grandma Enga was born in Sweden as Ingar Hansdotter.
Taking her father's surname, as is the custom in America,
Ingar became Ingar Anderson when she immigrated.

For some reason, no one in Logan could spell
Ingar, so she became Enga.

Mom remembered Enga, but couldn't recall
a Swedish accent which I find incredible
since Ingar didn't know a word of English
when she immigrated at the age of nineteen.

Generations of women have effected who I am.
I love them all for making my life possible.
For the lessons they taught small children,
for all the clothes they washed and ironed,
for all the food they cooked,
for all tears they wiped--
Thank you to these wonderful women.

And thank you
to the next generation of Mom's in our family--
My nieces and my nephews' wives

Dan, Niece Angie, Alaina


Travelin'Oma said...

This is a lovely tribute to moms. Your mom is darling!

PI said...

What a great bunch of women. You come from good stock.