Monday, January 31, 2011

My Family Tree

I always thought that as I got older and my kids grew up and left the house that life would get easier - somehow less hectic and well, more relaxed. When they were young and full of boundless energy I tried to enjoy every minute because I knew it would not last forever. There were times when I felt like I was exhausted and that I could not handle one more diaper change, one more homework assignment or one more hour in the car. But I truly loved it all. And I'm not saying that because I am totally finished with that part of my life. I am saying that because it was a great part of my life. So much of who I am now was shaped by the years I spent with my children. Thanks, kids!

Now I am no great mother, by any means. I have made so many mistakes - many of which most mothers would never make. I have been weak when I should have been strong. I have slept in when I should have gotten up. I have eaten sweets for a meal when I should have encouraged my kids to eat healthy. I am truly one of those mothers who believe that if I had to do it all over again, I would most definitely do many things differently. But really, would I be any better of a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend? Probably not. In fact, I would most likely miss out on a lot of what has made me - me!

So who have I always wanted to be like? My Grandma Moore. Yes, mother of 13 wonderfully independant, intelligent, strong willed, talented and beautiful she was. Women of her time had to be strong in order to survive. She did things the hard way - used a wringer washer and hung her clothes out to dry, canned, baked and up to the end, loved the outhouse a little more than the toilet in the house! I guess you get used to things after so many years and it is hard to change.

To me, she is one of the most beautiful women who ever lived. She fed, clothed, taught and nurtured her children and when they grew to be adults, every one of them cherished her and loved her without measure. And all of her grandchildren adored her as well. When I was little, I dreamed of having children who looked at me the way my uncles and aunts looked at her.

Max's Grandma Meng was from the same school of hard work and yet she had such a tender heart. Gentle and kind, always trying to make you comfortable. She spent her lifetime caring for others and being a wonderful example of motherhood. Max has memories of the delicious food she would prepare - sometimes out of nothing at all. His own mother can do the very same thing and I always marvel at it. Grandma Meng's quilts and handmade gifts for grandchildren and friends are some of the most treasured and loved objects in our home. My personal favorite is the tiny dime store baby doll that lays nestled in the bottom of a 409 bottle that has had the top cut off and has a cover and wristlet crocheted on top to make carrying around the house easy. So creative!

If I could take the beautiful traits of each of these women, I would be an amazing wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend myself. Unfortunately, I am not much like either one but I am so thankful to have had their example to look to. I am sure that if I had been able to spend more time with each of these wonderful women, I would feel differently about my mothering skills. But one thing is for sure . . . . I love my children more than I can say and along with my husband, they are the lights of my life.

I guess I am like Eva Jane Jones Moore and Denice Rachael Summers Meng!

My dad is at the bottom of this picture in the middle with the suspenders on. Isn't he cute? And my Grandma Moore is in the front with the beautiful flowered dress on.

1 comment :

  1. I have never seen this photo - it is awesome. Thank you for sharing it!


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