Mama was 54 years old when she and Daddy took me in. I was almost three. Their raising me is one of the many variations of grandparents raising grandchildren.

Mama was never a grandmother to me. She was and will always be my Mama. Her other three children were old enough to be my parents (one actually was an adopted parent – my story has many twists and turns) they were all in their 30’s when I arrived on the scene.

It was a slower time back then, in the fifties. We lived in the country on a small farm that Daddy tended in the evenings and weekends when he got off work. He worked in a textile mill, leaving for work early after tending to the animals long before sunrise.

Mama tended to gardens and kept our little home spotless while watching after me. I spent my days playing in the shade of a huge oak tree or following her along the garden rows as she pulled weeds or picked vegetables for cooking and canning.

My Mama taught me to garden and to cook. She taught me to respect God and nature. We took long walks in the woods and she showed me herbs that grew wild while telling me the usages for each and every one.

As a teenager I discovered boys(much to her horror) and then as if to make her worst nightmares come true, I married the one destined to give me hell and her much worry about me. She knew from the get-go this boy was not the one for me. She tried to tell me and I (who knew everything at that age) didn’t believe her. How could she know? She was “old”. What did she know about love?

I can answer that question now. Now as I am the age she was then. In my 60’s. Older and much, much wiser than I was as a teen.

What did she know about love?

She knew more that most people ever will. At a time when she could have rested and enjoyed her golden years she loved enough to take in a a baby and start the child rearing process again. To make it even more amazing this new child was not of her blood but a child adopted by her son as an infant and then partially orphaned by the loss of his wife.

I always knew what she and Daddy did was wonderful. I didn’t know what a hardship it must have been until many years later when with my own body aging and enduring aches and pains, I stopped one day and though what it would be like, at my age, to have a small child to chase and care for. Oh My! What a woman she was!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama. You were and are, one in a million.

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