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Motherhood

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November 2011

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Janelle1color

I come from a long line of amazing women.   I still have the baby quilt handmade by my great grandmother.  In fact, it hung in my own children’s rooms when they were babies.  She was amazing.  I never knew my great grandfather, but I love hearing my mom’s stories about them.  They lived through the depression, and my mom was around ten years old when they first got electricity and indoor plumbing.  They were frugal, hard-working, and good-hearted people.  My great grandma could make a game out of nothing, and you would leave feeling so special.  She taught me to play Hide-the-Thimble, Chinese Checkers, and Dominoes.  I inherited her fondness for pickled beets, and her long legs and dimples.  I took piano lessons, and looked forward to playing for her when we would go visit.  She was amazing.  She died when I was twelve and I still miss that lady.

Her middle child, my grandma, was equally wonderful.  I was so blessed to grow up within walking distance to my grandparents.  We would run down to see them, pick wild strawberries behind their house, or play in the treehouse next to their driveway.  My grandma would greet us with a smile and hug every single time.  She would act like we were the highlight of her day each time we saw her.  She raised four daughters, survived the loss of an infant son, and worked full-time most of her adult life, all with the same kind-heart that she showed anyone around her.  She was the valedictorian of her class (of 7).  I am also a middle child with an older sister and younger brother…something we shared.   I also inherited her love for angel food cake, her long legs and dimples.  She passed away when I was 22, and I still wish she was here so my children would have the blessing of knowing her.

Her oldest daughter is my incredible mother.  Being the oldest of four girls, she helped raise her younger sisters.  She also had to do farm chores from a young age – even leading a bull by the nose ring from a burning barn when she was twelve-years-old.  She started waitressing at a local diner when she was fourteen.  She got straight As, and was homecoming queen.  She married her high school sweetheart (my incredible father, but that’s another story) when she was nineteen and he was home on leave from serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War.  She put herself through college – the first in her family to attend – and graduated in three years with an education degree.  She moved to San Diego, where my dad was stationed, after college graduation to take her first teaching job.  They moved all of their belongings from Indiana to California in a ’67 Camaro (the first car they owned together).  They moved back home after my dad’s Navy time was up.  (For any car lovers reading this, they moved home in a ’70 Dodge Challenger.  They have had some pretty awesome cars through the years.)  My mom worked full time, raised three children, took care of her mother and father at different times, and did it all with the goodness she inherited from the women before her.   I inherited so much from her…delight in children, teaching, gardening, cooking, and work ethic.  I also inherited her favor towards chocolate, her long legs and dimples.

I now have a twelve-year-old daughter who is so much like me.  Like the rest of us, she has long legs and dimples.  Apparently these are dominant traits in the women of our family.  🙂   She has a kind heart, big smile, and amazing personality.  My prayer is that I am the kind of mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and beyond that I have been blessed with.  Motherhood changes a person.  It’s not something you understand or appreciate until it happens.  And I couldn’t imagine anything better than being a mom.

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