Saturday, May 12, 2007
Mom: Assignment #20
Silver Valley Girl assigned InlandEmpireGirl and me to write a tribute to Mom for Mother's Day. Silver Valley Girl's is here. InlandEmpireGirl's is here.
When I think about Mom, my mind always goes back to about 1963-67/8. In order to keep her teaching certification, Mom had to finish a four-year degree. The state of Idaho would no longer allow her to teach with her two-year degree.
As life would have it, about the same time she started going to night school and summer school, and about the time she had to go to Moscow to complete her residency, and study on the University of Idaho campus, she had become pregnant we had a baby in our house, the very girl we call Silver Valley Girl.
Mom had about 100 things going at once those days: she was teaching grade school at Siver King, where not only was the day to day preparing and teaching demanding, but so were the things outside of the classroom like PTA and Christmas pageants and keeping current with all the different ways to decorate her room.
Mom went to night school.
She had hired Mrs. Price to care for Carol, so she had an employee to pick up in the morning and take home and night. She also had to make sure that Mrs. Price was happy in her work.
The stress of this was all magnified by Silver Valley Girl's difficult first month. She was very sick. Most of her first thirty days were in the hospital and she nearly died on a couple of occasions, including once at home. She was very healthy after her first month, but the traumatic first month was always a memory and the fear she might relapse was very real.
I really cannot capture how busy Mom was during those years. I always remember the night the baby bottle nipples melted. Mom was sanitizing them in a saucepan on the stove and water boiled dry and the rubber nipples melted. Dad was probably bowling. InlandEmpireGirl and I were probably too engrossed in Gilligan's Island or Lost in Space.
The rubber nipples could have been a last straw. Mom could have said, "That's it. I can't do all this."
But she didn't. She was determined. It's the same determination she uses when she goes up and down the basement stairs, one foot on one step, the other foot on the same step, slowly and carefully, to compensate for her sore hip and knees; it's the same determination she uses in her garden, fiercely yanking weed after weed from the ground, her face red in the sun, or as she removes dead head after dead head from her hundreds of flowers around her house.
I can't say Mom is stubborn. But she's determined. She's a cancer survivor. She's widowed. She's a very involved grandmother. She's determined to keep up her yard and garden for as long as she can.
I've taken a couple of Mom's strengths into the world with me. I think every student of mine can learn and excell; I think the best of people until they give me reason to think otherwise.
But, Mom's determination. I don't have it and I have rarely seen it in anyone else. It's what I admire most in Mom in paying tribute to her this Mother's Day.
Poured Like an Anode by raymond pert at 4:11 PM