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Colorado, United States

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mom and Me

My Mom raised three sets of children really.  My three older siblings were all born within a couple of years of each other; I was born seven years later and my sister seven years after me. In essence that made me somewhat of an only child, as is my younger sister.  So we all had different parenting experiences with our parents.  That being said we all know Esther Miller as a woman we love dearly and admire greatly.

She was born in central Iowa in 1918, the sixth of eight children born to parents who were farmers of Norwegian heritage.  She met this handsome bloke (my younger son bears an uncanny resemblance to my Dad at that age...) in 1937.

And she married him on February 13, 1940 at the age of 22.  

(I came by this sewing thing honestly.  
My Mom and her Mother made her wedding gown and veil.)

They had, as I mentioned, five kids and in addition to raising us my Mom worked every day of her life.  She helped my Dad on a little farm they had; then went on to help him in a gas station they owned. She eventually followed a path she truly loved and became a nurse.  She worked the night shift at our local hospital for many years ~ so she could be home during the day with her family.  

My friends today tease me about my early morning hours working in my studio.  I guess I come by that honestly, too,  as I don't remember my Mom getting more than about three - four hours of sleep at a time...  She's always had endless amounts of energy.  She made every musical concert and every play I was in.  She didn't make all the football and wrestling tournaments where I lead the cheers; but that's understandable.  There were just too many of them.  When she wasn't doing for her own family, she was helping someone else.  And still is to this day.

Today, at 94 (and a half she will remind you) Mom is living a nice life she deserves.  Dad passed in 2002, shortly after they moved into a retirement community where she still lives independently (very much so) in her cute little apartment.  She sews every day (apple; tree) and quilts three - four times a week with her friends. She bakes constantly - most often kringla (a Norwegian shortbread). She is a devout Lutheran and volunteers for all kinds of things in her church and home community.  Until she stopped driving a couple of years ago she was the go-to taxi driver for many friends who needed a ride to the doctor, a trip to the grocery store.

(Mom at 18 and at 88)

The older I get the more I have come to respect and admire and just plain ol' love her.  She's a hard act to follow, but I'm trying.  When I called her Friday to wish her an early Happy Mother's Day she said, "Oh I'm glad you waited until now to call (5:00 CDT)!  I've been gone all day and just walked in the door."  94.  And a half.  And the reason I called her Friday is because I knew she had plans for the entire weekend!

And then of course, a whole 'nother story is these characters who gave me the name "Mom."

I loved them then

So much I could've smooshed them to pieces.

Still do

Still could.

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