Jesse and Betty

I am thinking about my parents today, they are gone now, but both had a September 2 birthday.  My dad would have been 87 years old today and my mom 82.

It is hard to believe that my dad has been gone 18 years.  Molly was only two years old so she really never got to know him.  I so wish he could have been here to see my children grow up.  I know he would have been as proud of them as I am.  He did love all the little grandbabies and would rock them for hours at a time until they were both sound asleep.

My dad was the youngest of five boys and had a difficult childhood growing up poor and fatherless on the banks of the Missouri river.  According to his mom, his dad went to work in the coal mine one day and never came home.  Most thought the KKK had taken care of him due to the fact he befriended a black man.  My dad told me stories of his own childhood, about being pulled from the river close to drowning more than one time, about wiring his family’s 2 room home for electricity when he was twelve years old and about the time his brother accidently cut off his nose with a shovel as he was digging manure.  His mom stitched it back up with a needle and thread.  I am pretty sure there was no antibiotic injection involved.

circa 1949

My father worked for thirty-five years at the same company before retiring and was a selfless provider for his family.  I was always a daddy’s girl and spent hours in conversation with him as I was growing up. Even now I think about the things I would love to talk with him about, I miss him very much.

My mom was the youngest of five children also, but was the only girl with four older brothers.  I always thought my mom was probably a fun, free-spirited person growing up.  She loved to laugh and could tell animated stories both actual and fictional.  I think she always dreamed of doing things that her health never allowed…..our family still jokes about one of her stories involving her soul traveling to Egypt.  As can happen with teenage girls, my relationship with my mom became complicated.   From her perspective I was a “hard-headed kid”, (read stubborn, independent and willful) and she was probably right.  A few may even still describe me that way today.  She did love her grandkids and was very creative at entertaining them, think black olives on fingers and french fries between the toes.

circa 1942

I feel blessed to have had the parents that I had.  They were far from perfect but I always knew I was loved.  I do miss them both and wish I would have had more years to share with them.

circa 1965

Happy Birthday Mom and Dad!

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