Memories of Mother - The Queen of Hearts

The whole of outdoors could not fill her heart. She had compassion, love and joy right from the start. She gave and gave from morning till night without ever thinking of her self and her plight. Born the middle of three girls, she was the adventurous one. She could shinny up a tree at the blink of an eye and stay till the all clear or come to take her punishment with a sigh.

When just a young girl, in a blinding snowstorm, she rode her horse into town to play the piano at the movies that had no sound. Her horse was outside tied waiting patiently for the ride homebound.

Hardworking, inquisitive, and bright as a penny, she found pleasure in sharing her all with those without any. This started early and continued all her life, and those who received never really knew of her strife.

She was my mother, my playmate, my friend. She kept making memories right up to the end.

Right after school she married a man by the name of Bill Moore and had two children Patti and Dave. Several years later they parted company her sanity she must save. When she and her kids were free by decree, she then knew just how lonely a person can be. In a USO magazine she answered an ad, that’s how she finally met my dad. A blind ad with brief description, with no name but a PO number as the answer to a lonely heart prescription.

When she was sixteen, a woman who knows told her she would marry John Henry for the happiness she chose. That lady surely knew for mother and daddy lived 37 years so happy and true.

A year, two hours and twenty three minutes I came along, yelling and screaming telling all with Beth and Henry I did belong.

A mind-spirit connection with both continues thru time and now they are with me it is just so sublime. The limitations of aches, pains, distractions in life are now lifted and the wondrous conversations I have been gifted. Continued memories from the past, will live in my heart forever to last.

She was my mother, my playmate and friend, she kept making memories right to the end.

And still more memories..........

Some of my earliest memories are of her running thru the house whenever she heard a fire truck and sometimes take us in the car to watch at a distance so we weren’t in the way. When the poultry house burned to the ground one cold, damp, foggy night just blocks from our house, she rousted us from our sleep and we all went down to watch. Later she was worried that she might have contributed to exposing us to the polio sickness. At that time, every other house in the neighborhood was posted with a ‘quarantine’ sign. They just didn’t know what caused it. I used to love to play with the big pods and leaves of the ‘catalpa’ tree and was told not to any more as it might give me polio.

Since my father was a navy man and away most of the early childhood years, mother would take the responsibilities of both parents. When there was a parade or circus in town, she would bundle all of us and take us to see the events. I sometimes think it was because she was so child like herself and because she didn’t get to experience those things when she was growing up.

She would also help me and my cousin several times a summer to put on a circus in our backyard. We would have popcorn, home made candy and all the neighborhood kids watching the acts of our dogs, whatever we thought up and there was no limit to the imagination of any of us. She always had time to play catch with me and sat outside in the evening and watched us play with and try to catch the fireflies.

She always had a lot of nervous energy and slept very little each night. She liked to sit in the dark and think (probably of daddy) and sometimes she would read mystery novels. We both shared the joy of sitting in front of the radio in the corner and listen to ‘Intersanctum", the Green Hornet, Shadow and many others. My sister and brother didn’t share this pastime, in fact, my sister would have nightmares listening to the stories. During one such time, the story was interrupted with a news bulletin about the destroyer that my dad was on. From then until we heard he was alright, we sat glued to ‘additional information’ that might be heard.

Each new year, she would get all of us kids up just before midnight and we would sit in the dark waiting for the bells and firecrackers to go off signaling that the new year had arrived.

When I was in grade school and in high school, I would come home to eat lunch. She always had homemade rolls or bread and quite often navy or brown beans.

Mother and I and occasionally, Patti, my cousin and aunt would go black berrying together. We would get up around 4 am, wear our oldest clothes and be at the 10 mile corner north on 16th to the blackberry patch around 5am sunrise. The dew would be heavy on the bushes and the stickers would be the sharpest it seemed. We would pick berries until about 10:30 or 11:00 and then head back to town. Often when it was just mother and I, she would drive into town to different areas and I would get out with my pails of berries and go door to door to see if any wanted to buy fresh berries. Other times we would drive right home, take off our clothes, groom each other looking for ticks and take a much needed bath. Mother would have a fresh blackberry pie very soon for our lunch. We also ate a lot of canned blackberries in the winter that really tasted good. Many times, while picking berries I would find a turtle or snake and want to take them home. The turtles became many but the snakes never did go home with us.

Mother had ten green thumbs. Whatever she planted or nurtured would grow and thrive. She never used anything other than her TLC and tap water. The flower gardens were everywhere, mostly with petunias, marigolds, flags or iris and rose bushes. She had the best vegetable garden with everything and what we didn’t immediately eat, was canned for the winter. What we didn’t use, she would share with others who might be in need. She was always thinking of helping others first no matter how little or much we had.

We lived a block or so away from the railroad tracks and the hobos came often to our house for a handout. Mother always gave them something even if we didn’t have much. They would sit outside and eat the bowl of soup or sandwich and drink their water. Sometime she would give them pie. They always asked if she needed to have any little chores done around the house. Most time, she said no but didn’t turn them away. Yes our house was marked and they knew exactly where to come for a meal given in love. Our house was marked with protection and harm never came to us.

She found joy in the smallest things, like a beautiful sunrise or sunset; birds making a nest; listening to beautiful music; playing the piano or organ; playing with her children, grand and great grand children; eating ice cream and Carmels; gardening or going pecanning; and helping others gave her the most.

She loved to be independent and do things her way. The breeze flowing thru her hair when she rode a bicycle fast as she did so often. For her a bicycle meant freedom and expression. She would take me riding in the basket for long rides when I was very little. Even when she no longer drove a car, she had a three wheeled bicycle colored purple. She was seen and heard racing down the underpass in downtown Parsons, screaming and laughing with her feet on the handle bars of her purple tri-bike when she was in her 70's. The fact there was a sign posted "no bicycles allowed" only made it impossible for her to resist

Music was in her blood and she could play ragtime or slow songs from memory after just hearing it once. No lessons were given to her, she had a musical ear and she played any and all songs by ear. Up until a few weeks before she left, she was still playing her organ. Even with rheumatoid mis-shaped hands closed tight she could still play boogie with two fingers and thumb on each hand. Musical bingo is another pastime she loved. A radio show would give prizes if you could identify each tune in a certain length of time. They would only play a bar or two of the song. Mother knew them all. She would sing or whistle doing her housework, ironing, canning or quilting.

She was a child at heart and this was never more apparent than when well into her 70's she would get down on the floor to play with her children, grand children. When they would become old enough, she would teach them to play her favorite game, Scrabble. We spent many many hours playing Scrabble. In fact this was the indicator I used to see how she was doing physically and mentally. She was always a worthy opponent. I’ll miss those games.

One last thing that I will write about but certainly not all there is. She saw only the good in people and made no distinction. She choose to look at the world thru ‘rose colored glasses’.

Some of her quotes that she was always saying were: "I, myself, am best when least in company." "Happiness is a state of mind. A penny saved is a penny earned. Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today.

She was my mother, my playmate, my friend. She kept making memories right up to the end.

I love you mother and will see you in my dreams. Thanks for being my mother this life.

A Poem for Mother

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