A blog about finding God's way on the journey with our children, our family, our jobs and our community.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tribute to Loubie; My mother, my friend

My mother was born Betty Louise Flannary.  Her first husband, while not my Dad, was the love of her life.  He died of Hodgkins disease while my Mother was carrying his only son, their second child.  My Mom met my Dad a few years later and she tells that she fell in love with him because he was so different than her first husband.  My Dad was full of life - funny, good looking and everyone loved him.  He wasn't an intellilectual, like her first husband, but she loved him.  He had a son.  They got married and then had me and my baby sister, Lisa.  My Dad never officially adopted my oldest sister and brother out of respect for their father, who was an only child and so wanted to carry on his family name. 

My Mother is the strongest woman I have ever known.  Sometimes, especially since growing older, I often think of her as a true miracle.  She was born in 1930 in an economically depressed area called Appalachia, VA.  Her mother was uneducated.  So was her father, who worked in the coal mines of Southwest Virginia for many years.  My mother, who we lovingly call "Loubie," somehow made it into college at the University of Virginia, where she graduated the nursing program and went on to become an RN and LPN.  The first person in her family to graduate college.  Her great love of the written word has pretty much inspired me to both read and explore writing.  Even today, her favoriate things are reading, Jeopardy (the television show) and Crossword puzzles.  Oh, and spending time with her great grandchildren.  She is a true caregiver.  Heck, I think she invented the word when she was in her early 20's.  That's when she took care of her very first patient - her husband who was dying.  Even with a young baby underfoot, her husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness.  And while devastated, he asked her to consider having another baby - hoping it would be a boy to carry on his family name.  And knowing that she soon would be a single mother (back in 1950, are you kidding me?) she agreed to try.  And soon, she was the mother of two children - children who were 10 months apart - both in diapers - burying her husband in a town where she knew no one.

From there, she started on her care-giving journey and to be very honest with you, some 60 years later - at age 80, she is still taking care of people.  Now, her great-grandchildren are her pride and joy.  They simply adore her and she is quite energetic and loves to take them - where else - but the library!  We have all gleaned a love of reading from my Mom.

You will be hard pressed to find another woman of her era who is more energetic, intelligent or better loved than my mom, Loubie.  So, on Mother's Day and in honor of my Mom, Loubie, I offer these words:

Mom, without you, there would be no me.  Your love, your attention, your guidance, have made me who I am. Without you, I would be lost, wandering aimlessly.  Sure, I may have gotten there someday, but it sure was nice following along in the path that you carved out.  

You showed me the way to serve, to accomplish, to persevere.  Without you, there would be an empty space I could never fill, no matter how I tried.  Instead, because of you, I am a much better person today.  A better mother.  A better wife.  A better daughter.  And better friend.  

Thank you, Loubie.  I have always loved you and I always will.  And I am so very proud to call you my Mother.



Kelly @ Much To Do With Nothing said...

Hi there,
I wanted to come by and say thanks for following. I've been reading your blog and found myself lost in each post. From your journey to your new mission in life to your ideas for the new kitchen re-do.

I agree, it's "how you make them feel". I've always tried to be that way in my job (medical field) and now in my slipcover business. Letting people know you care how they feel, is so important.

Traci@ Beneath My Heart said...

I wanted to come by and thank you for the sweet comment you left on my blog about the poem I wrote my Mother. And I am so glad I did! I loved reading this post about your amazing mother! She truly is a miracle. What a story she has to share. Motherhood was so much harder years ago. We think we have it hard, but we are really spoiled as Mothers nowadays. We have washing machines, microwaves, dishwashers, and so much more. I admire women like your mother SO much! God bless you both this Mother's Day!

Kerri said...

What a beautiful post! I can barely see the screen for all the tears in my eyes. I have a chronic illness, so I KNOW the sacrifies your mother made to be a full time caregiver, not to mention motherof virtual twins!! How blessed you are!