My Mother turned 77 on October 30. I know she wouldn’t mind me telling her age……she’s proud of it! Lately, I have been thinking about her and growing up. Not only do I love my Mother immensely, but I have tremendous admiration for her. She is kind, generous, strong and very loving. She is a woman of substance.
Often, you hear that statement – woman of substance. I googled it and found the following:
To discover what it means to be a woman of substance, we must define the term. Dictionary.com lists a variety of meanings for the word substance. One is: "substantial or solid character or quality." Other definitions included "consistency, body" and "something that has separate or independent existence." Based on these definitions, a woman of substance would be a woman who has strong character, is consistent, has more to her than meets the eye and has a variety of interests outside and within her home and family. She possess peacefulness, love, patience and steadfastness. She possesses virtues that make others around her notice that she is not shallow.
I could not have stated it more accurately. Those words are my Mother.
The above paragraph states that a woman of substance possesses patience. Even when her life, job, friends, children or husband drive her crazy (and I’m sure we did), she knows that it is better to respond with patience than to react in anger. I don’t remember ever hearing my Mother raise her voice. Did she get mad? Yes. As a little girl, I remember developing a fear of thunder and lightening. My parents couldn’t figure out why. One day, Mother came home from work during an approaching storm. The house was quiet. She slowly and quietly walked toward the bedrooms and heard my two brothers laughing. They didn’t know she was home. She didn’t see me in my room. As she headed to the other part of the house she must have heard me crying. I was in a closet, not locked in, but I was too scared to figure out how to get out. That day, she figured out my developing fear. My brothers had been putting me in a closet during storms when my parents weren’t home (my brothers are 5 and 8 years older than me). I do remember her getting pretty mad and I think my brothers remember it too, vividly. As innocent/funny as my brothers thought this prank to be, it truly impacted my life. Thank you my sweet Mother for protecting me.
My Grandmother, Mother and myself…..somewhere in Washington D.C.? I think? Don’t we look thrilled!
A woman of substance also conducts her life with honesty and integrity. I don’t ever remember Mother saying unkind things about other folks. She has always avoided gossip. Her heart and soul are kind and she would do anything for anyone. There have been times where I have seen her beautiful heart and soul wounded. Wounded by those that said they cared and loved. Through the hurt and sadness she never spoke ill of them. I wanted to lash out and protect her, but her examples and her unspoken words have shown and continue to show me the right path to take. Thank you Mother for living your life with honesty and integrity.
Mother and Daddy with my baby girls.
Mother has always had many interests. Gardening, sewing, cooking, decorating, crafting, etc. From the time I was born, my Mother sewed many of my clothes. I remember her telling me that she and her very dear friend, Mrs. Sawyer, would make trips into Birmingham and go to, I believe it was Newberrys. They would window shop and then Mother would sketch out designs of the little dresses and adapt these designs to the patterns she had at home. She was am expert seamstress. She learned these skills from her Mother, Louise, my grandmother, who was also a gifted seamstress and teacher. As I grew, Mother continued to make my clothes, from fancy undies to a prom dress and she even revamped her own wedding dress to accommodate me. When her beautiful granddaughters entered the world, she took on a new project, smocking. These clothes were beautiful and I still have each and every one. As a teenager, I know I may not have shown or verbalized my appreciation of her gift of sewing and there may have been times that I wished for more of the “store bought” clothes, but I did like to brag to my friends that my Mother made my clothes! She taught me to sew as well. I’m not as gifted as she, but I am very grateful that I have sewn for my daughters a bit and now my granddaughter. Thank you for the gift of sewing, Mother.
As gifted as Mother was at sewing, she was and still is an amazing cook. From homemade birthday cakes/desserts, to fried pies and fresh vegetables, baked beans and potato salad, made-from-scratch dressing and even liver and onions! Delectable! The list I could make would go on forever, as could the stories! I always got to lick the batter bowl after she made a cake and eventually I actually did the baking while she washed the dishes. One of the most treasured things that I have is her old recipe box and her handwritten recipes, especially her dressing recipe. I use to carry the dressing recipe around in my wallet, but it now resides in the recipe box. Thank you for the gift of cooking, Mother.
The dictionary defines love as a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. My mother exemplifies this definition. You see it in her beautiful blue eyes as she looks at my father. You feel in in her touch as she caresses your hand in hers. You hear it in her voice and laughter. I makes me smile when I hear her scold my dad by saying, “Donald!” My parents are affectionate folks. A pat on the behind, a quick kiss in the kitchen, holding hands and loving embraces. My dad loves and adores my Mother. It shows. Mother loves and adores my dad. It shows. Both of them love me. It shows. Thank you my sweet Mother for your love. Your love for life, for others, your love for your husband and your love for me.
Mother, I love you will all my heart. Happy Birthday!