My blog is being devoted for a while to my dad for his service during WWII, but he and Mom were a team until he died in October of 1986. In public Mom was always on Dad’s arm, because he was always there to steady her walk. I can’t honor him without remembering and honoring her as well. It would be like having the pepper shaker without the salt.
I remember my mother being a woman of dazzling beauty, not from make-up, but from naturally flawless complexion, radiant eyes, perfect figure, and beautiful taste in clothing that suited her to perfection, clothing that she always managed to find at bargain prices. She never worked at being lovely. That’s just the way it was. In elementary school I was always proud when Mom came to school as room mother or to participate in some other classroom activity. From the first grade on, kids in my classes would always comment, “Gee, your mom is so pretty.” And she was a sweet as she was beautiful. She was a super housewife, who kept an immaculate house (a miracle when considering us three kids), and nursed us all back to health from our bouts with mumps, measles, chicken Pox, flu, and myriad other illnesses. The day after the photo from 1952 of Mother, David and me, I was diagnosed with Scarlet Fever and was confined to my room for several weeks. Mom nursed me back to health even from that.
When I was twelve years old, Mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor on the left side, the largest tumor at that time that Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota had ever removed from a patient. Her surgeon, Dr. Bernardi, said that she would probably have a year to live. She was partly paralyzed on her right side, blind in her right eye, and deaf in her right ear for the rest of her life. She outlived her surgeons and died fifty years later in 2008. She walked with a cane for most of those fifty years, kept house, did gardening, attended church, and continued to live life with strong determination that she could do everything she needed to do with Dad to raise her family, just at a slower pace. I’ll include more photos of Mom before and after her life-altering surgery. She was a remarkable woman for any era.