My mom is one of the most loving, unselfish, patient, and generous people that I know. She and Dad were married 4 months shy of celebrating their 50th anniversary when he passed away. They were the parents of 5 children and grandparents to 10 grandchildren. And May 26th, Mom will add her third great-grandchild to the family.
Family is a priority for Mom. She has a smile and a ready hug every time you see her. With Mom, the more family gets together, the better it is. Growing up, I can remember a few times when Dad had to be in town for business that she drove 560 miles, one way, to Lubbock with 5 kids so we could spend time with our grandparents and cousins. We would visit Dad’s side of the family in Texas City several Saturdays or Sunday afternoons each month. Mom and Dad were at sports events, school or church programs, concerts, and anything else we were involved in. When the grandkids came along, they continued the tradition by supporting and attending their activities. Holidays were always big times of family gatherings, decorations and celebrations. To this day, we still celebrate family traditions and enjoy spending time together, whether it’s a holiday or not.
Each summer, we spent one weekend in June at the Hackney Family Reunion. The reunion was begun by my maternal grandfather’s parents for their 7 children and their families. We treasured those times with lots of relatives and still do to this day. As the five of us kids began to marry, we also began the tradition of renting a beach house for a week and all spending the week together. Mom had “Required Fun” activities for the kids to make each year. She even made each of the grandchildren their own flag to have at the beach one summer. Those continue to be highlights for all of us. We learned early on the value of family.
Mom is gifted with creativity and the ability to sew. With four girls, that was definitely a blessing. We had new dresses to wear for each day of the first week of school, for Christmas, Easter, flower girl dresses, GA coronations, piano recitals, homecomings, proms, and bridesmaid dresses. She even branched out and made jams for my brother and made lots of costumes. When the grandkids came along, she took sewing to a whole new level. She was also very creative when it came time for school projects. We quickly allowed this to carry over to the next generation. Whenever a grandchild had a project, we knew Mom would have the supplies, know where they were, and could help with the process. If she didn’t have a pattern, she would make one up. Mom made things for the grandkids from baby blankets, matching jams, to amazing “Graduation Picture Quilts.” Mom would also design the family Christmas card each year as well as make an ornament for each member of the family for the family tree. One of the grandkids once said, “What’s the big deal about Martha Stewart? Grandmother can do all that.” So very true! Even now, Mom is constantly making scrubbies or sewing yo-yos and keeping busy.
Sometimes this creativity caused unexpected results. Whenever any of the Pasadena grandkids were sick at school, Mom was on the call list to pick them up. My sisters and brother finally had to tell her that the sick child had to just stay on the couch because Mom let them make designs on t-shirts, paint pictures, make shrinky-dinks or other crafts and play games. It was an added bonus if two “cousins” were sick on the same day. There definitely was not much of a motivation for the sick child to recover quickly. Two “cousins” confessed, this past year, that they would decide at church on Sunday nights if they were going to be sick that week and on which day so they could go be at Grandmother’s house at the same time.
Church involvement and a relationship with Jesus are important to Mom. We were active members of the church (in more ways than one). Mom and Dad made sure we were there for Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday night activities. We were in choir, GA’s, RA’s, Vacation Bible School, and went on mission and choir trips. Mom taught 2nd graders in Sunday School for over 50 years. For many years, she made each child a bag, with their name on it, to hold their Bible and Sunday School book.
Mom truly expressed her Christian faith in love and actions. She was constantly writing a card to someone, baking a cake, helping with a wedding shower and was a great example of doing things for others without expecting anything in return. For years, she would go out early and place the newspaper on the neighbors’ front porches since some of them were “older” now. She was also involved in the PTA and other school activities because education was so important.
In these later years, Mom modeled for us what it means to love your spouse “In sickness and in health.” From our early years, she taught us to treat Dad with love and respect and we saw her live that out in his final days.
I am so incredibly grateful for God’s blessing of a godly mother. I am proud to be her daughter.
Children’s children are a crown to the aged,
and parents are the pride of their children.
and parents are the pride of their children.
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”
“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
Proverbs 31:10-12, 28-30