Moms and Bandages…Even in Spirit

1968 - Mom and Nancy in kitchen

Happy Mother’s Day! Today is a day to celebrate our mother, and we will celebrate her whether she is with us or not. Today is a day with mixed emotions spanning from my 25 year old daughter-in-law who has a fresh open wound of losing her mother only two weeks ago to me, a 57 year old who lost my mother eight years ago, to an 80 year old friend who lost her mother thirty years ago.

The 80 year old friend said she still misses her mother. When my mother passed, a co-worker told me that she had lost her mother years before. She said not a day will go by that I don’t think of her. She was right.

The first year that I was without her was difficult because I missed the daily chats we had in the past and the quick phone calls I would make to her when I had a cooking question. With time I became accustom to her being gone. Her spirit and teachings live in me, and I think of her daily and cherish the precious memories we shared together.

This picture of my mother and me in her domain…the kitchen…depicts her so well and everything in this picture stirs memories of the mother that I love dearly. My mother was happy to be a full-time housewife and mother. She spent hours and hours working in her kitchen using her Magic Chef oven to her electric Sunbeam mixer, to her metal flour and sugar canisters, to her coffee percolator, to her Sunbeam blender and to the knives she has hanging on her wall. She was also a seamstress and had sewn together the aprons that we have wrapped around us in this picture.

When I was young and had scraped, bloody knees my mom swept me up, cleaned the wound, bandaged it and then held me tight to ease the pain. I like to think that perhaps my mom continues to care for me like that even after she is gone. Her spirit dwells inside of me and continues to comfort. She eased my open wound and pain from losing her with a bandage of love that can still be felt. Every year the excruciating pain of loss lessened and the love increased.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom…Jean Belle! I’ll love you forever!

What memories of your mom come to mind when you think of her on this special day? Answering these questions below about your mother will be a start to Keeping Your Memories of her preserved in writing so that she will forever be remembered. If you’re fortunate that your mother is still with you, ask her to answer these questions about her mother also.

  • What do you remember most about your mother’s appearance?
  • What sounds do you associate with your mother?
  • What was your favorite food that your mother cooked for you?
  • What pleasant smells do you associate with your mother?
  • What special touch do you associate with your mother?


Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!  Missing my mother who has been gone for seven years now but so fortunate that I still have her close to me in my heart. And I will never forget her childhood and teenage stories with interviewing her in 1985 and my brother, Jacob, videotaping my parents narrating their family pictures and preserving the stories of their lives.

This year I have compiled the pictures of my mother and transcribed her narrations to create a coffee table book of the first quarter of my mother’s life.






When my daughter reviewed the 77 pages of the final draft, she questioned me as to why I didn’t have any pictures of Papa in this book. She didn’t think it was complete without including pictures of him.

I explained this book depicted the first quarter of her life and even though it was just a short portion of her life span it was the foundation of her life before she met my dad.  It formed her into the woman, mother and grandmother she became. To include him I did add an epilogue of how she met Papa through her cousin and her cousin’s boyfriend who was a USS Anzio shipmate of Papa’s during World War II.


Webb City, Missouri had been Mom’s home for twenty years and when she left in November 1948 to marry Dad she was never to live there again. She was embarking on a new chapter of her life. She married, had five children and brought her family back every year to this small town that would always remain home to her in her heart.

Have you interviewed and recorded your mother’s childhood stories?  Now is the time to open up your laptop or grab paper and pen and start Keeping Your Memories of the stories your mother has shared with you.

Five Generations of Women



On this Mother’s Day I want to honor five generations of women. Each with a legacy of her own.  My great grandmother died in 1897 at the young age of twenty-nine. Her surviving husband dispersed four of their five children amongst aunts and uncles. My grandmother, May, their fifth child, was only five years old and was separated from her siblings and raised by her grandmother.

The story has been told that my grandmother was not treated very warmly by her grandmother, and she was only able to complete the third grade. She eventually married, had eight children, worked diligently both at home and as a seamstress at a local shirt factory. I didn’t know this about my grandmother when she was alive, but I had never asked. And perhaps I never knew because she didn’t let obstacles stop her and she just persevered. My cousin, Debbie, remembers Grandma telling her that she missed out on learning and stressed the importance of education.  Despite the lack of schooling she was able to teach herself. She loved English and words.

My mother was the sixth child out of eight. She was born into this hardworking financially struggling family and raised during the Great Depression. She grew up with little and had a physical obstacle in her life but she persevered. She was the first child in her family to complete high school, and she too loved to learn. She married and chose to be a stay-at-home mom with four sons and one daughter. She encouraged reading as she was an avid reader, loved words and literally studied the dictionary to play Scrabble.

I am the fifth child, the only daughter. Compared to the first three generations, my childhood was considerably easier as my parents didn’t need to worry as much about food on the table and clothes on our backs. I completed high school and attended college but did not complete my education which to this day I regret. In my lifetime I survived life threatening brain surgery, dealt with infertility, and in time was blessed with three children. I eventually became a single mother, juggling full-time work and young children. But as my mother and grandmother did, I persevered and let none of my obstacles stop me. As a child, I loved reading and had a passion for writing. Since I was a little girl I wrote stories and as a teenager wrote for my high school newspaper and have continued writing since then. With my writings, I can share with my future descendants how coming from a strong line of women has enabled me to become a stronger woman. Today I am happily remarried, my children are grown, and I continue working and writing.

My daughter is the oldest child with two younger brothers. She is the fifth generation in this line of women and has already begun to put her mark on the world. She has always been an outgoing, assertive, young woman with goals and ambition. She successfully completed her college education and is currently a first grade teacher and has touched many young lives. She also loves to read and teaches first graders to read not only for educational purposes but for enjoyment. All of these grandmothers, who were born in 1868, 1892, and 1928 (two of whom she never met) influenced my daughter’s life. I am proud to have been in this line of women.

Are you able to compile the lineage of your ancestors and what they persevered? What memories and/or pictures do you have of your grandmothers/grandfathers? Now is the time to pull out your laptop or grab a pen and paper and start Keeping Your Memories of your lineage and how each generation had a part in your life.