The Giving Days

Growing up on a homestead farm, with seven brothers and sisters we didn’t have much, but Mom always found ways to give. Mom grew up without her mother, taking care of her Dad and brothers on a dairy farm in the 1930’s. She married Pop in 1948. Mom continued her journey of giving raising eight children on the family farm. As we grew up Mom always found time in her busy day to give us what we needed. She taxied us to whatever sport was in season, everyone knew there was always room in her car for another kid. Who was in charge of school fund raiser dinner? Mom. If we needed help with our many jobs, Mom was always there. Our 4-H projects were always finished on time. Did Mom get a lot of sleep on those nights? No. When we were away from home she always found time to write letters and even slip a little something in the envelope. As we grew up, moved away, got married and had children, Mom continued to give, just differently. She gave advice, when asked. She helped us with our projects, catch up on laundry, or hold a fussy baby so we could get something done. She always arrived with her brown box filled with cookies, fruit salad or a new recipe she wanted to try. She went with us to doctor visits with our babies, photo sessions, and was always ready for a shopping trip. (Treating us to lunch of course.)When Pop developed heart trouble Mom became his care-giver. They put miles on their golf cart appreciating the trees in the woods. Mom learned to cook healthy heart foods and Pop even learned to enjoy them. Then, in 1990, Pop went home to be with the Lord. Did Mom stop giving to others? No. She volunteered at a small Catholic school for many, many years. She gave those little children a ‘grandma’ who would read to them, tutor them, and help them learn their prayers.My sister was diagnosed with colon cancer in the fall of 2000, by Thanksgiving she was with the Lord. Mom spent days with her doing whatever needed to be done. She kept us going even when the going was tough. How could God take a child/a sister when we needed her so much? Did God know how Mom was feeling? Yes, He had given His only Son for us. Mom continued to taxi people around, many older than herself. She took communion to shut ins and visited friends in the nursing home. She even helped care for quadruplets. Mom has sewn hundreds of blankets for critically ill children. Now 91 years “young,” Mom continues to live on the family farm where all of us learned to get along, obey our parents and most of all love God. She lived a life of giving and now we have the opportunity to give back to her. She doesn’t drive anymore. You might wonder what happened to her car. She gave it away, of course!

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