Wednesday, March 8, 2023 would have been my Mother’s 100th birthday. My sister, Marie, and I shared memories of her on that day and talked about the impact she had on our lives. She sent a quote from one of Mom’s favorite poems about spring to our family members. In her honor, I ate my breakfast using plates from her wedding china. She was never able to buy a complete set, but the few pieces she had were special to her. I did a lot of thinking about her and her life that day and decided to share some of the things she taught me by example.
- Her faith was a huge part of her character. She led by example and made sure we were in church each week and had a Bible story or devotion each evening. She preached her sermons by the way she lived.
- Family is important. My mother was the only daughter in her family and her six brothers appreciated her influence. She was the one who helped care for her parents as they aged and kept the family connected. As I grew up, she was the heart of our house. She was there for us when we had something to celebrate and loving and guiding us when times were hard.
- Work is good for you. All of her life was spent on a farm and she set the example for working for me and my siblings. As I was growing up, we all spent a lot of time in the fields with the tobacco crop and then came home and worked hard in the garden, weeding, picking and canning or freezing food for the rest of the year. I am sure she was often tired but she never complained. She still made time to have fun with us and keep the house running.
- Add beauty to your life. Flowers were always important to her. Even after a long day of work, she made time to take care of her flowers and make beautiful, fragrant arrangements. She enjoyed sharing her flowers with friends and they often decorated our church.
- Appreciate what you have. For most of her life, my mother did not have many material things but she never let that make her unhappy. She would find ways to use what she had. For example, almost everything that would hold water became a flower pot or vase. Her sewing skills allowed her to make beautiful clothes or curtains for our windows.
- There is always time for reading. Mom always had a book handy for reading when there was time in her busy day. Books were her way to visit new places, learn about things and solve mysteries and just have fun.
My mother died in 2008, but these and other lessons I learned from her life are still valuable and make a good example to follow.
Barbara Best, Deacon Chair