Friday, April 8, 2016

Anticipating Mother's Birthday : An Afternoon Remembered

In these old photos, my mother is barely 25. With three children under school age, two of them twins, her days were filled to the brim with things to do. I think that’s why this collection of photos are some of my favorites from childhood. Busy or not, Mother made time for the things that really matter to children, things that every parent should strive to do.


I think it’s safe to say this was the first photo Daddy took on this particular day, as the bare feet appear to be squeaky clean, and in a house with linoleum floors, clean feet were probably the exception. I love how my sisters and I are pressed against my mother, against each other, and, if you look closely, you can see Mother's arms reaching all the way around her little brood, her hands resting gently on her babies.



In this snapshot, I declare my mother looks like she could be a shampoo model, her naturally curly hair framing her face and flawless complexion. I can't help but wonder what the trio of girls on the left were talking about. It appears one has already staked her claim in the little red wagon.



It is obvious that big sis and I drew the short straws when it came to seating arrangements, big sis stuck in the back, me stuck in the middle, nary an inch on either side, but I must say that even though my twin sister is hogging half the wagon, she couldn't look more adorable. Speaking of adorable, how about my mother's shoes?

Behind us is the little parsonage we lived in, just a skip and a hop from the church my father pastored in Mississippi, a place still near and dear to all of us, even these many years later.



From all appearances, this photo was taken at the end of that summer afternoon spent in the yard with Mother; not only is my face a bit droopy, so is my underwear. I can imagine Mother saying, "Go stand by the car and let me get a picture of y'all before we go in." 

Back inside, there would be supper to cook and clean up, baths to be drawn, all done by the loving hands of my mother.


***


If life goes as expected, Mother will turn 84 on Monday. I was probably in my late 30's before I fully realized her true worth. In my youth, we didn't see eye-to-eye, but with age comes wisdom (hopefully) and seeing her through mature and wiser eyes changed my life. She taught me that we didn't have to agree on every subject, in order to fully appreciate the beauty of each other

Without question, Mother's contribution to my life is immeasurable and continues to this day. Not only my life, but I'm grateful for the impact she has on my daughter's life, as well; they text almost every day and talk on the phone often. And while time isn't on our side, I pray that my little granddaughter will also have the privilege of really getting to know her great-grandmother before time runs out. 

As I write these words, my heart is full. Happy Birthday, beautiful Mother! I still want to be you when I grow up.


***


19 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday to your beautiful Mother. And isn't it nice to have some old photos to enjoy. Most photos were taken of when everyone was dressed up, it's fun to see some every day fun! Hugs, Diane

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  2. How I so enjoyed sharing these beautiful photos with you!
    Do you wish, as I do when I look at photos from the past, that you could jump right in them for a little while and share the moment? As it is, we can wonder from afar, or call upon a memory placed long ago.
    Happiest of Birthdays to your beautiful mother!

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  3. Dayle, this was beautifully written! Your mother would be proud I'm sure! I hope my kids look at me that way when they grow up. Thanks for sharing...and those photos are awesome...what great memories for you and your family!
    Stephanie

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  4. What a beautiful post, Dale. It really did my heart good. Our mothers are of the same generation. Didn't those young women work hard?......keeping their children well-dressed, well-fed, clean and all the while teaching them every day. I treasure my time with my mother. She lives more in the past now, but she still recognises me and I am fully aware of how lucky I have been and still am. You too!

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  5. A perfect tribute to our wise and wonderful mother. I haven't always seen eye-to-eye with her, but I can't imagine her not being in my life. P.S. I really AM adorable, hogging the little red wagon.

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  6. P.S.S. We were called "droopy drawers" on occasion, if I recall, and looking at your drawers, I can certainly see why.

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    1. Hehe ... Yes indeed, we were droopy drawers on occasion, enough to earn the name.

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  7. Oh, what precious memories these must be for you all...such great photos! Your sweet mom was quite the fashion plate too! I also remember a time when I was a teen and did not give my dear mother the respect she deserved...I'd give anything to go back and correct that. I hope that you and your family have a wonderful time of celebration as she turns 84!

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  8. Hi Dayle! What a lovely post about your little mother. She is a beautiful lady and I wish her a happy birthday! I adore your little snaps! You are just darling and you're a twin! Your mother looks so sweet too. My little mother has been in heaven for three years now. I didn't have any siblings so my little mother was my best friend. I miss her terribly. When something happens to me, good or bad, for just a second I think I've got to call my mother. Blessings to you and thank you for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  9. Oh my goodness, Dayle. Your Mama sure had her hands full so young in life. She seems like an amazing lady. (I KNOW her daughter is, at least the one I have come to know). I am sure both of your sisters are darlings, too. Such sweet memories you have. And a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the birthday "gal." Many more are wished to her. Susan

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  10. Happy birthday to your beautiful mother who has the cutest little girls. :)

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  11. These photos are so wonderful, Dayle! I think of myself at 25, and can't imagine having three little ones at that age. But, it's obvious your mom did an amazing job. Happy Birthday to your beautiful mother!

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  12. What a beautiful tribute to your lovely mother! Please extend my birthday wishes to her for a wonderful, blessed day! And may God bless her with many more happy, good quality years with you and your sisters and your Dad. :)

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  13. such a sweet post. your mom is beautiful, hope she had a very blessed birthday.

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  14. I would love to see your mom's face as she read these beautiful words. And the photos are exceptional. Happy birthday to your mama! Very touching.

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  15. This is a beautiful tribute Dayle. I loved scrolling the pics of your beautiful mom and all three of you. One of the places I would love to visit one day is Mississippi. The history there is amazing to me. Happy Sunday. And Happy Birthday to your very special mom.

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  16. This is so beautiful! I hope your mom sees it. The photos are priceless!

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  17. Ahh, how sweet..I am assuming your Mother has the opportunity to read post like this. I hope she will. My Mother has been gone from this earth since 1973...it was some time years later before I began to write and my first scribblings were about my 'Mama"..How I wish she could have been here long enough to read even that first effort..a tribute to a precious woman. I pray you share these words with your Mom.

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  18. Your mother was lovely, and these vintage pictures are priceless. Wow, 84 years old. What a nice birthday post for your dear mom. My mom lived until 83, and she is always in my heart.

    Thank you for visiting today.

    ~Sheri

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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle