Monday, May 09, 2005

On Mothers Day

Not surprisingly, Mothers Day makes me think of my mother, Alma. She died in 2002, so she wasn't around to celebrate the day with us yesterday, but I'm sure that like me, my brother and sister thought about her and her influence on us all.

My mother was a very bright woman. She attended a German school in Poland for eight years between 1920 and 1928, but the school only had 4 grades so she only got a grade 4 education. I can remember in the early 1960's, when I carried my parents' monthly mortgage payment to the bank, the manager's astonishment that my mother's calculations were always 'dead on,' principal plus interest, given that seldom were her payments the regularly scheduled amount. She hated debt and every extra penny always went towards the mortgage. Her calculations of the outstanding balance, interest accrued and paid and everything else were always accurate. Try that sometime with your own mortgage, without resorting to financial software to do the work for you.

When my mother was in her mid 60's, she started to write. She wrote over 160 poems, in German, some of which I put on the family website. Also in German, she wrote her life story and my father's, and much else about our family. A condensed history of her life, in English, is here. I always encouraged her to write things down because I wanted to remember what she and my father had endured in their often brutally painful history and to make the information available to successive Pedde generations. Now that she is gone, I'm glad that she left her words behind for us to remember her by.

At my own home, Mothers Day was pleasant and peaceful for my wife, my son and me. For breakfast, I made scratch waffles for the family. After lunch we went for an afternoon drive. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I felt grateful to be alive and to be blessed with my family and circumstance.

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