Saturday, June 30, 2012

Off Again!

 Off again!  Twice in the same week.  In the same direction.  Crossing at the same border crossing.  This time, with Papa Bear, at the wheel, going the "fast" way i.e. expressways aka interstate highways in the States.

Going to visit my Mama Bear.  The Matriarch of our clan.  For her 97th birthday this coming week.  On the Fourth of July.

Born July 14, 1915, Matriarch Bear grew up during the decade of the roaring 20s.  Was a young adult struggling to get her education in the depression years.  Served in the Navy as a WAVE in the 40s.  A young mother in the 50s. Watched her children grow up and re-entered the workforce in the 60s, living in the suburbs.  The 70s saw her cubs starting to fly away and stretch their wings.  One married and starting a family.  Her first two grandchildren.  The other cub still trying to find out who she was.  The 80s saw both of her cubs married and the addition of two more grandchildren.  It also saw retirement and trips with Patriarch Bear to different places including Canada where one cub, two grandcubs and a cub-in-law now resided.  Still spry, still very active, she could walk this poor bear under the table at that time.  The 90s saw her still in the house, she and Patriarch Bear purchased in 1956 in the suburbs.  Getting older.  Still feisty.  1998 saw a huge change in her life when her fellow partner - and sparring partner - through life died suddenly.  Living alone for the first time in more than 50 years.  Cubs grown and gone.  Into the millennium, she "aged in place" in the old house in Ohio.  But by the middle of the first decade of the millennium, it became evident that it was time for her to move on.  To move closer to family.  In 2005, right after her 90th birthday, she took the initiative to move.  Hundreds of miles from everything she's known for almost half a century, she moved to an enriched seniors housing facility near one of her cubs.  A huge change.  But a good one - for all of us.  Now in the 10s, her mind still active, her body is getting frailer.

She's lived through WWI, WWII, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam War, the Bay of Pigs Fiasco, and the Cuban Missile Crisis - just to name a few.  She's experienced rationing.  She got her driver's license in the 60s - somewhere in her 40s.  She's experienced turbulent changes.  She's seen segregation and desegregation.  Watched riots on the TV.  She watched the world change around her while she was busy changing diapers, making lunches, working, tending her garden, painting, doing the things most women of her generation did.

She saw the transition from horse drawn conveyances to cars.  She witnessed the birth of the TV.  Saw men go into space and walk on the moon.  In short, she's gone from the "stone" age to the computer age - in 97 short years.

So, this week I will make the trip to see her once again.  To honour her.  To thank her for being my mother.

I will rejoice with her on her birthday and celebrate the 4th with her and my sibling cub as only small town America can.

I will give thanks for my mom.

Thank you, Mom, for everything you did to make me the woman I am today.

I love you.

Happy Birthday, Firecracker!

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Please tell your mother, Happy Birthday from me, one of your readers. You are most fortunate and blessed. It is beautiful to be able to have your mother so long. My mother died at the age of 71 and I wished I could have had her longer.
    Thank you for such a nice article.