Monday, March 17, 2014

For me today is the "luck of the Germans"…

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!  I don't have a drip of Irish blood in me, but I want to blog today anyway because it's also the birth date of my mother.  She came from German descendants so I wonder what her parents thought about having their first child on Ireland's biggest celebration day.  I'm guessing they were just happy she had arrived!

Mom lived in a tiny little town in southwestern Ohio called Botkins, and she grew up there.  For her family to go shopping or out to eat, they went to the hopping metropolis of Sidney.  Her dad worked there in a die making plant.  One of her favorite restaurants was "The Spot" and last I heard it still exists.    She was a cheerleader and I have seen some pictures of her with her girlfriends.  I think there were only 5 or 6 cheerleaders (remember, it was a small school) and I wonder what teams they actually cheered for.  I can't imagine that Botkins High had enough young men to make up a football team.   Most likely they had a basketball team.  It only takes 5! ha

My mother never got the chance to go to college (the oldest of four & it was a pretty rare thing for girls at that time), but one weekend she did go with a few of her girlfriends to a dance in Columbus at Capital University.  I'm not sure if she had met my dad before then or not, but he was a student there.  Before college, he had to take a break in his education to go serve our country, and when he returned to the states his parents had moved to Botkins.  The story goes he came back in the middle of the night and tried to find their house… and knocked on mom's door by mistake.  Is this true? I'm not sure.

My mother and father dated and married while dad was still in school.   He went into the seminary and my sister was born while dad was serving as an intern for a church in Butler, PA.   Dad's first church of his own was back in Columbus and that's where my brother and I came along.

During those times spouses (and again it was the wives) of seminary students took a class too - on how to be a good pastor's other half!!   My mom was very traditional, as was her upbringing and life back then, and she took the class.  I'm sure she passed it with flying colors!

As time went on she did become the "perfect" spouse and mother.   I always remember her being available for us all.  It was her life-calling.  Wife and mother.   She was a fine house keeper…thankfully not neurotic about cleaning, and she did fine as a cook in the kitchen.  Again, she was  not a gourmet chef but we are talking about a woman with a "meat and potatoes" German background.  

I have many, many fond memories of my mother.  Unfortunately when she got into her 50's (which is where I am now) she had some unexplained medical issues for awhile.  I remember at that time my parents were unsure about the doctor and mom tried different medicines (perhaps some were not the best for her), and finally she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.   Mom lived the last years of her life with it, and in time it changed her.  She had trouble moving, and writing, and she got tired very quickly.

I always regretted the fact she got sick before my daughters got to know her.  Mom had limitations and could not be a hands-on grandmother.  My hubby, daughters, and I also lived far away and my parents stopped traveling due to mom's illness.

But, whenever this day comes around each year it's St. Patty's day for everyone else, but for me it's a day to remember my mother with love.   I had the "luck of the Germans" having a mother born on this day. She was the oldest of Floyd and Goldie's, sister to Byron, Danny, and Susie, wife to Paul, mother to Susan, Mark, and Marla.  Grandmother to Erin, Sarah, Lauren, and Kristen.

Happy birthday Mom!


  1. Not to be left out: mom's two great grandsons: Luke & Daniel - but she didn't get to meet them. I bet she is watching them from above.

  2. That was sweet. Mothers with all their imperfections are special people, and I don't think we ever stop missing parents no longer with us. Have a nice day.

  3. What a wonderful tribute to your mom!! Anyone born on St. Patty's Day, no matter what the genetic makeup, should be able to celebrate - Irish for the day!! :)

    My mom died at age 65. We lost her much too soon, too. I have a dear friend struggling with Parkinson's Disease. It is not easy.