Hi Friends! Happy Friday to You!
Summertime is making her final curtain call and we are loving every moment of it!
My mom had her birthday this past weekend, and we went (those of us who could) to a restaurant to celebrate her 89th birthday! It’s been a pretty big year for her and my dad! In May, my dad turned 90, they celebrated 70 years of marriage and Mom just had her 89th birthday last weekend. Friends, I have to tell you they are such an inspiration to our whole family! My dad actually still works, has his own business and while he has lightened the grind he use to put in, he still loves what he does. He just loves people in general! My mom is the same way, she loves people… everyone she meets!
This is my son Jake hugging his Grandma whom he adores. She has been precious in his life since he took his very first breath! You can see it in his eyes the love he has for her. There are 16 grandchildren that would say the same thing! And now oodles of great grandchildren and they just keep coming!
I was thinking this week of the things they have seen in their lifetime. I thought I would share some of those milestones and some pictures of my beautiful Mama.
The 1920’s had been a time of great economic prosperity, but as we know, it does not last forever. But life and love and babies are a precious gift no matter when or where they occur!
If you look in the collection below, you see a bride and groom. That would be my mom’s parents. They were married less than a week after the Stockmarket crash in 1929. Herbert Hoover was President of the United States. The following August in 1930 my mother, Joyce Elaine was born. Isn’t that a beautiful name?
She was the firstborn child to my Grandma, who absolutely adored babies. Can you imagine how crazy she must have been over this beautiful baby girl? That sweet smile… she still has it!
Ok just melt my heart all over the floor! Look at that sweet little lamb!
The Great Depression hit, times were tough everywhere. But love and life and families continued. Less than 2 years later, in 1932, my mother got a baby sister! Mary Jane was born! And these two little dollies became so close! My mom was ever watching out for her little sister! My mom was blond and her sister was brunette. Both just precious! Their mama made all of their clothes! I can only imagine she must have thought she was the luckiest woman on the planet to look at those 2 beautiful little angels every day and be the one who cared for them!
In 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt became President of the United States. He would lead the country for the next 12 years, Term Limits has not yet been added. They would be extremely challenging years for the United States. Drought and the Dust Bowl ravaged the land, the people and the economy. By the mid 1930’s, the average national income was half what it had been in 1929.
People pulled together and helped each other out. It was not uncommon for families to move into homes together. People shared what they had. Many people were on government programs. And life moved on. This was their time to live regardless of the economy, and you relished life and love and laughter and relationships!
My mother told me many times of how polio was such a tragic diagnosis when she was a child. My grandmother once shared with me that the family that lived down the street from them had 2 little girls both diagnosed with it. My grandmother at the time also had 2 little girls. It was just so sad. My grandmother was a wonderful seamstress, and she made 2 beautiful little dolls complete with lovely dresses and took them down to that family and gave them to the mother so she could give them to her 2 little girls. That little act of kindness has always tugged at my heart so, to see people step into someone else’s heartache and do whatever they could to bring comfort, love and maybe another smile to a family that needed it so desperately. The Greatest Generation endured the best of times and the worst of times.
My mother has told me how Christmas was much different. They waited until Christmas Eve, and her father would come home late with a tree. The girls would be asleep already and their mom would trim the tree while they slept. When they woke up, there would be the tree all trimmed and gloriously beautiful in their little innocent eyes! And underneath the tree would be a lovely orange for each of them! There was not money for stacks of presents, but that didn’t matter! This was the best day of the year! Their Mama would bake pies and people would come to visit. Their father was quite talented musically and he would play the piano while everyone sang Christmas carols! For life was a precious gift and so was faith and love and relationships!
In 1940, my mom and her sister got the best gift of all, another sister! Linda Louise was born, and she was absolutely beautiful! Her eyes sparkled and danced and her dark wavy hair made her look like the most beautiful porcelain doll ever! You can imagine how those girls swooned over their new baby sister!
World War 2 had laid siege all over Europe, and with the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941 the United States was thrust into the war as well. Life changed dramatically as young men went to war and food, gas and clothing were rationed. My mom told me how families had “Victory Gardens” where they would grow their own food, my mom remember potatoes, corn and beans among other things in their garden. They actually got in the car and drove a distance to their little garden. What they didn’t eat fresh they canned for later. Victory Gardens were a way to express patriotism, feed America’s families on the home front so farmers could send food to the war effort overseas. By 1944 some 20 million Victory Gardens produced 40% of the fresh fruit and vegetables consumed In the USA. It was a way everyone could participate and step up.
And life went on as families huddled around radios for news of the war. And children were growing up learning to love and care for each other and to love their country and their fellow man. My grandmother was taking babies into her home through the court system. She usually had 3 bassinets in her family room and these 3 little angels were Mama’s helpers with bathing and feeding and caring for babies night and day. WW2 ended in 1945, and the country was exuberant with celebration! Soldiers came home! And in all of this, our 3 girls grew and cherished life and love and family and relationships in the best of times and the worst of times!
And as is the way, soon my mom would meet the man of her dreams. His story had been unfolding just across town through all the same winds of adversity, war, and finding this as his time in history to be born in the United States of America. And they would meet and fall in love. My Grandma told me many times how much she and her husband thought of my dad. They had 3 girls and my dad came into their lives and they just adored him.
And the story continued. My mother loved babies as much as her mother did. And she would go on to have 6 babies of her own, 3 girls and 3 boys. And she treasured them more than anything! My mom’s jewels were Doug Jr., Susan, Kevin, Amy – me, Stacey, and David. We all would grow and have children of our own. Here we are with my mom and dad. My sister Stacey is in the front there wearing a tee that says, “All you need is love.” Truer words were never spoken!
Here is a picture of my mom and her sisters and mother taken while the girls were raising their families.
Here is a picture of me and my sisters with our mom, our kids are pretty much raised and beginning their own families.
And life goes on! We don’t pick when and where we are going to be born. That is a Sovereign choice, and it is a gift. Ours is to live it to its full and to love and care for everyone we meet along the way. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!
My Mom has told me many times about a movie she loved called “I Remember Mama” in which a family recalls the life and love and challenges and joys growing up under difficult circumstances with a mom who loved them dearly and taught them to keep their chin up, to care for one another and to work hard and to love one another. So many wonderful qualities, and it influenced them and shaped their lives. My mother’s mother shaped her life and made it simply wonderful growing up under some of the most challenging times in our history. And she in turn has given me a wonderful life and shaped mine to see the very best and to treasure it and the people God has placed in my life and around me!
I am so grateful for my mom and all she has taught me, and the love she has shown through her life to everyone and especially to me! Happy birthday, Mom! I love you forever!
I hope you have a fantastic weekend!
I’ll be back Tuesday for another Tasty Tuesday!
Family~ Where life begins and love never ends.