March 30, 2012
Traveling on long mid west highways gave me time to think and reflect on how much I have learned from my Mother. Today I was driving through the Iowa farm land. Watching for early plowed fields, the fruit trees already blooming and the rows of tulips and daffodils in the small towns. Each sign of spring reminded me of my mother who I was going to visit. They are the start of life and new beginnings. The essences of spring is watching a farm come to life after the winter months.
My mother grew up on a small farm in southern Iowa. She completed her college degree, and taught music in the public schools. She soon married and began to raise three young children. In a short time she found herself a single mother and looking for work to keep her family a float. In a time where most woman were married she set her sites on caring and providing for her children. Always looking for new life.
She was my model as I grew and moved into teaching. “Everything can be done if you just put one foot in front of the other.” “We will find a way to do this.” She always had a way to get things done. She was always putting one foot in front of the other and pulling us along with her. She supported me when I struggled to learn as a young child. She was there as I graduated from college and stood behind me as I grew into the teacher I am today.
It is now my turn to stand beside her as she struggles with Parkinson’s. She is now turning 93 and can no longer move on her own. Her memory is slipping away from us but as always she is still looking for signs of life and spring. My mother is not looking toward the end of her life but asking about what is growing – what new life can she see. She was happy to have the early tulips and daffodils bloom in pots in her room. She asks to go for drives to see signs of new life. She is finding a way to deal with and move forward as best she can with what life has given her.
Watching her on this spring night as she struggles to move and to think makes me realize how much I learned from her and how much I appreciate all she has done through her life to keep us learning, growing and looking for new life.
I hope I can handle life as well as she. She is the essence of spring! Thanks Mom!