Wow...I don't know who I was trying to fool....I thought that it would be a breeze to pick the winner. I thought I would just "know" who should win....I would be able to "feel" it....but that couldn't have been farther from the truth! I wish I could award a prize to everyone who entered...but, unfortunately, I cannot. Each and every entry was special in it's own way and touched my heart. Many, many moved me to tears...so I feel very humbled to even begin to pick one entry over another. So I enlisted the help of some of my friends and we narrowed down the enteries to our top 5 choices....from that pool we put everyone's name into a hat and drew one name. AND THE WINNER IS GERI!! CONGRATS! Geri entered by her mom through an email entry. This is what Geri had to say about her mom.....
Mom is a real life Wonder Woman! Her cape is hidden and those bullet stopping bracelets only come out occasionally but she has many super powers! She can completes a day’s work before breakfast, repair a car, bandage a knee, and mend a teenager’s broken heart.
When I was a little girl I was convinced my mom could do anything. It amazes me that in her 40’s she was raising 3 children, taking care of a very sick husband, looking after 2 elderly boarders, managing a farm with over 200 animals often by herself, and did a day’s work that would exhaust any 3 men combined.
She sewed most of our clothes and as children we always remember friends at school some of whom had store bought clothes always saying to us, “Oh your mom makes you the prettiest dresses. I wish my mom could make us clothes like that.” She always added a personal touch, a pretty ribbon or some fancy stitching, or a pocket that was decorated with flair. She could fix a bicycle, repair a kitchen appliance, bandage a knee, and mend a teenager’s broken heart.
She kept a spotless house, and still found time to contribute to her church and her community. It makes me tired just to think about it. It’s a measure of her humility that when she hears this speech later on, and she will, she will blush and say, “Oh I didn’t do anything special. I just did what I had to do to take care of my family.”
Now lest it seem like I am portraying the woman as a saint let me just correct that notion for you right now. I’ve seen her angry a few times. Five years ago at the Yonge Bloor subway station in rush hour I was pushed from behind by a man who just came barrelling out of nowhere, knocked me to the floor, hurried onto a subway train, and didn’t even stop to help me up.
I can only hope that his desperate hurry was due to a dire medical emergency because he caused one. I ended up with a torn rotator cuff, months of physiotherapy, and a year of pain. Well when my mother found out she said she wanted to “hunt the guy down and wring his neck”, and there was real fire in her eyes! Then my sister reminded me how mom used to take an axe and chop the heads off chickens on the farm. Oh that guy is lucky he made a clean getaway! Like most moms the instinct to protect her kids is very strong.
There is an item in mom’s kitchen that has a place of honour in our family. It is a single large yellow mixing bowl the kind that’s early Corningware and very breakable. Mom got it when she was first married in 1954 and she always told us as kids, “If that yellow bowl ever breaks I am giving up baking forever!” No crown jewels, no expensive piece of the finest china has ever been washed and dried as carefully as my sister Beverley and I washed that yellow mixing bowl. The bowl is still around and Mom is still baking.
She loves her cat Harley, playing Parcheesi, adores the colour red, and watching Dr. Phil. A few years ago when Dr. Phil’s favourite saying was, “What the hell were you thinking?” and he was letting the occasional other swear word on television out Mom had had enough. She decided tough love was in order and she would send Dr. Phil “an internet” her words for email, saying how much she loved his show, and that he gave a lot of wise advice, but it was important not to swear as he was setting an example for others and young people might be watching.”
She has a great sense of fun and loves to laugh. Those who know her well are able to see she has a mischievous streak which is well hidden but will come out if encouraged. Just for fun she once tried on our roller skates and even slid down the slide with us. She knew she could always get us to laugh by speaking in Pig Latin. We thought it was hilarious!
Mom’s favourite story is the time she was in boarding school in Providence, Rhode Island in the 1940’s. Students were required to do several hours a week of work at the school to help pay for their tuition. In those days they used the old wringer washing machines which you had to be very careful with as it would suck up the clothes between two tight steel rollers.
A very important missionary was visiting the school and everyone was on their best behaviour. It was a very dignified occasion and mom was selected the very dignified task of doing his laundry. Well his long johns underwear got caught in the roller of the wringer washing machine. Mom was horrified and tried to pull the long johns out of the machine. A tug of war with the washing machine ending up in his long johns being ripped to shreds. She said she laughed till she cried. It was worthy of an I Love Lucy episode.
Mom will soon be 83. She’s faced injury and illness and the inevitable slowing down with time. Now she may only have the stamina of any 2 men combined. She has days where back pain forces her to lie down most of the day and others where she will climb up a ladder and clean out an eaves trough or repair a clothes line.
Her two favourite sayings are, “A thing worth doing is worth doing well” and, “Patience is a virtue” which her two grandsons had fun in rewriting as “Patience will hurt you.” I’m sure we tested that patience a million times over the years.
She has faced the death of a daughter and a husband and her faith in God remains strong as a rock. There are 6 words that I have heard her say so many times that to me defines who she is. She says these 6 words to friends, family, in prayer to God, and to strangers. Those 6 words are what can I do for you?
Mom is a woman who lives her faith. Someday she will be in heaven and the world will be a much lesser place. When she was asked `”What’s the first thing she would do when she’s in heaven was, my nephew piped up with, “Oh she’s going to clean it.” But I think she’s going to be kneeling at the feet of God and saying, “What can I do for you?”
Once again, I want to thank everyone who entered and shared their touching stories with me....I am truly honored....
OH...almost forgot Scenic Sunday answer was Pennsylvania...more specifically Cook Forest/Clarion River.