We were not rich growing up. Dad was a preacher, making $135.00 -$165.00 per week. We lived in the preacher’s home, provided by the local congregation. Mom and dad tried to save money wherever they could. Of course back then money seemed to be worth more, (five cent bubble gum, twenty five cent Coca Cola, huge banana splits for $1.00). Allowance was twenty five cents a week, but we had chores to do during the week which seemed to give us the value of our allowance.
Holidays were special, but mother’s day seemed to trump them all. It was a time that dad reminded us well in advance to save some money to get something for mom. We didn’t complain about having to use our well earned allowance. We had seen mom every day working at home, cleaning, washing, cooking, taking care of three boys, and later three girls as well. She always fixed us breakfast, and prepared peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a Twinkie, and orange juice for us and pout them into brown paper bags for school lunch. We didn’t have any one tell us that our lunches were not healthy. Mom did her best to help save money, by making our clothes last. We played hard, and the first thing to ‘give’ in my clothes was the knees in my blue jeans. We didn’t have, nor did we insist on name brand jeans. We didn’t have to worry about anything… it was all provided and we were taken care of by mom and dad. We always knew that mom loved us… even when she got on to us or gave us a well deserved ‘swat’. We didn’t threaten to call Family Services… we knew better than to threaten mom and dad.
Mother’s Day was the time we gathered our pennies, nickels, and dimes, and went to Woolworths five and dime store, and get mom a book mark, or a pen, or just something to say I love you mom, you are special. I guess the best gift was when dad would take us all for a walk and we would pick flowers for a bouquet. Our favorite flower… Dandilions, and Daisies. We would pick them and then dad would point to some Tansies… and even though we didn’t know what they were, we picked as many as we could hold. The night before, we prepared the flowers. We took all the petals off the flowers, and put them in a bag, and early on Mother’s day we got up and prepared for mom to get up and make an entrance into the kitchen. Breakfast had been prepared by dad especially for mom, and we all waited. Finally mom came, (of course she knew what was going to happen), we hid ourselves behind the wall and when mom came in, we tossed all the flowers on mom. “Happy Mother’s Day mom!”, we all shouted. She smiled, acted surprised, and loved it. All day long, she was not to lift a hand to do any of the normal work she did. We washed the dishes. We cleaned up our bedrooms. We put our clothes away. We opened the door for mom in the car. We served her lunch in her easy chair as she sat and watched television. We swept and mopped the kitchen after the dishes were done. Why? We loved mom. So it didn’t matter where the flowers came from or the amount that was or wasn’t spent… it is the fact that we cared, and did something to show we cared.
Now mom is gone, she passed away June 13, 2010. She and dad were together again, happy again, not lonely any more. We were left with the memories of a mom that loved us incredibly, with no regrets. Mother’s Day will always be special, and bring back the memories of tossing flowers, hugs, special times and mom’s smile. While you have the time, show mom the love and respect she deserves. O, and don’t forget the flowers.
Happy Mother’s day mom, we love you.