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Thanking my mom for all she did and does

BY Linda Wilk

To all those mom’s grandmas, godmothers and foster mothers – HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY.

I always told myself I would not become a mom unless I had a husband who was committed to co-parenting with me. Thankfully I married the right man and have always felt supported.

I have always been supported by my mom too. Not that I always realized the extent, or appreciated all she did for me. I think that is part of being a kid and taking things for granted.

Things like the fact that my mom spent countless hours making sure the house was clean, the laundry was always done and we always had plenty to eat.

My mom is the poster woman for her era and what a mom/wife was supposed to do and be. She sewed some of my clothes, was always working on a project or finding a way to patch a pair of my dad’s jeans, despite how many patches on top of patches there might be on that one pair of jeans.

I still vividly remember my parents visiting Larry and I, and my mom being perplexed, and I think a bit taken a back that I didn’t get up with Larry at 3 a.m. when he went in to work that Saturday morning to fix him breakfast. Never mind that I didn’t have to get up that morning and that Larry has a routine of grabbing a Hostess cupcake or Little Debbie Swiss Roll on his way out the door.

You see, my mom always had breakfast or supper for my dad, no matter if he was currently working two weeks on days or two weeks on nights.

Since my dad had a somewhat irregular work schedule as a Nebraska State Trooper, it was my mom who was the organizer in our family. My mom was the stay at home mom who made sure we got to school each day and had a snack when we got home from school each afternoon before doing our paper routes.

It was my mom who helped us make homemade Halloween costumes and had the house decorated for every holiday and special occasion. She was always baking and cooking, leaving the house smelling wonderful all the time. (My mom also added to the household income by operating an in-home daycare until my dad retired and then she went to work at a local elementary school as a cook.)

She also spent countless hours each week doing laundry. As a child, of course, I also assisted with the laundry, along with my brother. It was a process to say the least, as we pre-soaked and scrubbed anything that might look like it had a speck of dirt on it, before putting it in the old- time washing machine, through two tubs of rinse water and an electric ringer. The electric ringer was something you had to master, and only under my mom’s watchful eye, because getting your fingers too close could cause an injury. There was no dryer for the clothes, all were hung outside. In the winter, clothes were hung in the basement. Eventually they did get a modern washer and dryer, although the routine has stayed pretty much the same.

My mom came from a large family – 12 siblings to be exact – and since she was second oldest, caring for others was just her mantra. That coupled with the fact her mom got polio and was wheelchair bound at the birth of my mom’s youngest sibling.

It was that work ethic that served my family well, as well as the community. My mom over the years became the one who always was doing something for someone else. At Christmas we made dozens of plates of candies and cookies to take to the local police and fire stations. For any church event my mom has always been the first to sign up to bring a cake or pie or some other dish. She weekly delivers church bulletins to shut ins on Sunday afternoons and tirelessly works to ensure that everyone else’s needs are met.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day today, it is with a sense of pride that I think back on all my mother has done for me and others.

While I would never wish the health crisis my mom is facing on her, there is a part of me that wonders if God figured that was the only way to get my mom to slow down and focus a little on herself.

I remember visiting one time and taking my girls to the local swimming pool. The pool manager commented how people don’t realize just how much my mom does for the church and community and how much she will be missed if something were to happen to her.

So, as my mom continues to recover from her stroke, and others learn to step in and fill those gaps, again, I just thank God for the wonderful mother I have and encourage all mothers reading this to take time for yourself today, and every day – you deserve it!