She was born in the roaring 20s and grew up in the depression, the only child of Kansas construction worker. As a teen she watched her country go to war and the world descend into chaos.
When the war was over, like most women her age she married a veteran and raised a family. Her husband was a high school dropout who had grown up during the two years he had worn a Sailor’s uniform. He had returned to Kansas to go to school on the GI Bill, and was introduced to a beauty so far out of his league that by all rights he should never have even tried.
But she saw in him a diamond in the rough. They built a life together, and their new family was nourished on happiness. He was larger than life; she was content to play the supporting role – the quiet strength behind the curtain. Their four boys lived the first two decades of their lives in a loving and joyful environment, and went on to success in their respective careers. One of them followed in his father’s footsteps as a Sailor; the others as teachers, explorers and geospacial experts – all solid, honorable professions.
Her husband died suddenly, in his sleep, at too early an age. She wasn’t ready. The family wasn’t either. They worried that his death would be too much for her to bear.
But to her sons’ dismay and delight, she blossomed. The void created by her husband’s death was filled instantly and capably by her strength of character and quiet resolve. She righted the family ship without losing the loving warmth that only a mother can give. As her sons struggled with the loss of their father, she told them, “My time with your father was a wonderful chapter of our lives. It is time to start a new chapter.”
On September 19th a new page was added as she turned a year older. She is still a beauty, still out of the league of any would-be suitors.
And she is my hero.
Happy birthday, Mom.