My Mom Can Do Anything!

11 05 2014

With Mother’s Day being yesterday I spent a lot of time thinking about my own mom and the type of person was, different. ImageI think every individual looks at their mother as unique or special and mine was no exception to the rule. As I sit here preparing to write on this wonderful lady and her ways, I realize my memories could easily fill a book, maybe two. So I’ll just take a portion to tell you about, and while I do, my eyes will be seeing a lady who taught me more than I ever realized and sometimes gave her credit for. Still loving you Ma!!

My mother was hampered all her life with a severe hearing loss and because of that I think she found the world around her a strange and hard place to live as a young person. Money wasn’t always plentiful to her family there in the back hills of West Virginia, so she had to go without hearing aids until she was about 7 years old. By then she had fallen behind what many her age were learning or already knew. With her own mother stricken with a cancer that took her life at a young age and a father who was never around, mom didn’t get the help she needed to keep up in school and finally dropped out when she was 15. When her mother passed away, she went to live with other family which was a bittersweet situation in itself. I’m sure my aunt who took her in loved mom, but it was tough going never having any children and suddenly being saddled down with a teenage girl with issues. After a few years mom found herself looking for a work and trying to make it in the world all alone. Frightened but undaunted she struck out to see what there was for a hard hearing girl to do out there. As a boy, she used to tell me, “Never let anyone tell you, you can’t do something. They used to tell me I wasn’t smart enough for anyone to hire. I’d get mad and say, ‘How do you know that when I haven’t done anything yet?’ As far as I’m concerned, I can do anything!” And that’s how she went at finding a job, head up and full steam ahead. When she would be interviewed for a position, the question would always come up, “Have you ever done this type of work before?” Her answer, “No, but if you give me a chance I’ll show you I can do it!” That line in itself got her a job more often than not. On occasion she would find herself in over her head, but most of the time she showed them and the doubters that she could do the work. A time came while living in Kentucky that mom saw a sign advertising jobs in a town in Ohio and that a bus would be leaving that day taking anyone interested there. She contacted family and they told her, “You’ve never been that far away from home; you won’t be able to do it.” Her answer again, “How do you know I won’t be able unless I try?!!”

Then she threw a few clothes in a bag, filled out some paperwork and took a bus ride to a new Promise Land in Fremont, Ohio; three days later she began working at the H.J. Heinz ketchup company there. This move proved to a great one for my mother because she was now making more money than she had ever seen in her life, $.90 per hour! She called her aunt and this time she was the one following along. She quickly came north and she and her husband plus mom got a place together once again. This could be a good stopping place; after all I showed the hard working and determined side of my mom and how she proved the doubters wrong. Yep that would be a happy ending, except for one little thing that was looming on the horizon that no one planned for or expected; and that one little thing, was me.

As many young ladies have happen, a “Prince Charming” came into my mother’s life that made her happy and promised the world. But then that offer of the world was quickly rescinded the moment he found out she was pregnant; then it was slap it in “B for Boogie” and he was down the road never to be a part of her life again. Mom returned home to West Virginia to live with other relatives until my birth, and once again the “Boo Birds” of unbelievers in my mom raised their voice. “You’re just not going to be able to take care of a baby on your own; you need to give him up for adoption. The doctor who did the delivery said he would adopt him if you would let him.” Up to that point in mama’s life she had gone through several phases, first was quiet and submissive. Then came the time for arguing followed by mild rebellion, but nobody had ever experienced the eruption that came for “Mount Myrtle!” (Myrtle was her given name, but she hated it and preferred going by Kate or Catherine, I don’t blame her!) “How do you know I can’t raise a baby?!! This is the one thing in my life I can call mine and I’m keeping my baby!” So the journey began for a young woman with a severe hearing deficit and a child named Johnny, town to town, state to state, living in small apartments with Ma anything she could do support us until the day we finally returned to Ohio and made it home. 

There’s lot more to the story, some I’ve already told in the past, the rest for another time, but here are the main points I want to bring out by telling you this account today.  First, I wanted you to meet one of the toughest and smartest people I’ve ever known who ventured out and conquered as a Traveler of the Rock Road. She could have listened to others when told she couldn’t do something, but there was a fire in her that said different. She knew what she wanted to do and did it no matter how hard, no matter how much she was told she couldn’t, and she was victorious! The proof is in the man who sits here today writing her praises. My mom was just as she said, she could do anything.

My second point is all you ladies who hold the title “Mother,” you are my heroes! You are the ones who give so much of yourselves for the well being of the ones you love. For you ones like my mother who tackled a good portion of life alone, especially childrearing, there isn’t a medal big enough to give merit to what you have achieved. I read this once and feel it is spot on, “Allow her to sleep, for when she wakes, she will move mountains.”  No argument!

One final note, my mom always told me about my Father, not the earthy one, but the one she trusted and counted on the most, the Father who strengthened her all her life and the one with whom s he resides today. Wouldn’t be surprised in the least if He told her, “Well done! I told you, you could do anything!”

“Even youths will grow weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”   Isaiah 40:30-31

I love you mama!
See ya next Monday.




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