Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. Henry David Thoreau

Monday, May 11, 2009


The other day, Violet's sewing basket fell down from a shelf in the closet
and these jewels came sparkling down.
This one was saved for Kellie 
when we went through Mom's things
to sell the homeplace.

I wore this one yesterday for Mother's Day
My little tribute to Violet.
And to Grace.
The jewels in my basket of memories.
My two moms.

It's funny which memories come to mind
when I think of them.

My Mom, Grace, brings back pictures of
hanging clothes out on the line.
Dancing to Perry Como and Nat King Cole
in the kitchen.
Frying zucchinni in the summer and
freezing peaches.
Self - sacrificing.
She took me to see Carousel and Camelot
live on stage in St. Louis.
We always stopped at Steak and Shake on the way home.
We went downtown St. Louis to shop for her shoes...
size 12 AAAA.
She was the tallest, thinnest woman I knew.
She loved having her hair done and her nails
painted red.

She didn't yell at me for getting sick during a lunch 
and fashion show at Famous Barr tearoom.
She let me order pie at Mrs. Hullings cafeteria lunches.
She took me to Boyd's diner for a hamburger 
after piano lessons on Saturdays.

She made me practice piano for a half and hour
every day after school before I could go out and play.
For 10 years.

She made me play the piano for friends when they 
would come over to visit.
They would all sit around the living room
and listen to my little concerts.
I hated that.
But some of her friends were old world Germans
and they always brought over  this luscious
cake that had about 15 eggs in it  and it tasted like heaven.
You had to play for your cake!

We always went to downtown St.Louis on one night
during the Christmas season to look at the 
fabulous displays in the store windows.
They were animated and so detailed.

My mom made sure I was in church every Sunday.
It was not up for debate.
My mom took a lot of lip from me, and Im sure a lot of
eye rolling, sighing, and brooding.
She  never yelled.
She taught me to sew.

My mom went to a ladies group called
Extension.  I never knew what it was
all about,
but one day they did a craft project where
they brought a pair of shoes they didn't like
for decorating.
She totally covered hers with
daisy fabric.
I guess they decoupaged them...
I never saw her wear those shoes, 
but I loved them.

I wish my Mom could have met Jim and the kids,
and oh how she would have loved to meet 
Olivia and Annalie.
She must be busy now with her flower gardens, singing and dancing
and crafting.
She was a jewel..
a Godly woman full of life,
faithful and strong.
I miss her on Mother's Day.

Violet  became my mom in 1973.

I didn't fully appreciate her gifts until 
I had some time to grow up a little.
Her life was harder and more complicated than most.
But she managed to inject
some beauty into her life
with her gardens
and flowers.

She worked harder than 
anyone should have to
and it wore her out.
But she kept on.
Her body kept falling apart 
and the doctors kept putting it
back together again.
We called her The Bionic Woman.

She raised 5 great kids
made the best cookies and pies you ever ate.
She kept her house clean and the kids clean
and got the whole brood to church
no matter what.
She canned and canned and cooked and cooked, 
probably more hours of her life
than anything else.
She sewed.
She quilted.
She kept  4 rowdy boys in line,
and made them cut their own whipping switches
from the tree.
She killed and cleaned the chickens for Sunday dinner.

These are not my memories of her.
My memories are of a woman 
who cared for her husband with Alzheimers disease.

Lunches at Hardee's every week and
trips to WalMart

A woman who never had anything fancy, 
but who had love for her family
and endurance for the long journey.

A woman of faith in the Good Lord.
A woman who prayed and read her Bible every morning
without fail.
Even after she couldn't really see that well.

A jewel.  A strong woman.
I miss her on Mother's Day.

I am blessed beyond measure
to have known them both.


  1. well, you have me in tears. There are so many things in your poem about grandma Grace that I've never heard you talk about--that I never knew about her. This is my first mother's day, and it is so clear that I have GIANT shoes to fill when it comes to actually becoming a mom and raising kids. I love what you wrote about Grandma Huebner. It's so true-her life was soooo hard, but she never ever complained. When I think about how much of her life she spent cooking it makes me want to cry. I hate cooking! She was such a servant. You take after both of them. You are amazing. Happy Mother's Day!

  2. Me too. So much crying. And I didn't know either one of them really. But I share a heart that aches for a mom on Mother's Day. I'm off to the shower now to cry in peace. Thanks for your beautiful words!


"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." Ralph Waldo Emerson

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