Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mother's 100th Birthday

Good Morning Mary Sunshine!

Baby Kathryn 1911

That is what my mother would say to me as her morning greeting, 
especially if I had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.
"Good Morning Mary Sunshine".
Oh how that irritated me as I got older. 
I feel sad thinking about that now...

I also remember a favorite song of hers, "You Are My Sunshine".  
That was the first song I learned to play on the electric organ.

We're talking 1962 here, thank goodness it wasn't the accordion...
Like my brother Billy!

She wanted her children to be happy. 
I know she rarely was. Life had been difficult for her.
Losing her mother at just 13 and not being able
to go off to college, as her two siblings had. 

She was a child of the Great Depression.

Mother's father had lost a leg in a rollover accident. 
A wagon rollover.
The mule pulling the wagon lay on it's side 
(in the ditch for hours) and didn't move until help came. 
If it had moved it would have killed my grandfather.

My mother, aunt, and uncle. 

After that my grandmother went back to college, 
and got another degree so she could support her family. 
She became one of the very first female doctors in Washington State. 
That was a real accomplishment (for a woman) at the turn of the century. 

Dr. Sarah Gibson

Her career didn't last long. She died after a car accident
(no seat belts back then).

My mother found out at school... on her first day of 8th grade.
Not a good start to the new school year.
The picture below shows her a few years later
with her very stylish "Flapper" hairdo.

Kathryn age 16

Mother didn't get to go to college as her brother and sister had.
The Depression had made that impossible.
She worked and put herself through nursing school.
That was not her choice but what was available.

I am sad to say I have no idea what she had aspired to be.
I do know that she was artistic and loved poetry.

Kathryn at Nursing School Graduation

Mother was born in 1911.
She had me late in life. A surprise at the age of 40.

I think maybe it was also a slight embarrassment.

She was a R.N. and worked on the maternity ward.
She worked her regular shift the day I was born. 
She hid her pregnancy in order to keep on working.

She did the best she could...

She would have been 100 years old today.
She died three years ago at 97.

Kathryn age 97

I hesitate somewhat to show this last picture.
Mother was slightly vain about her looks.
Saddened about the fact that she lost her beauty early on.
That's what a hard life can do to you.

Happy Birthday Mother.

It was hard, but I did love you.

This song is for you.

(click on picture to listen to the song)

Bunny Jean


Marigene said...

What a lovely tribute to your mother. She was a beautiful young lady and grew more so in her golden years.

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Beautiful post about your mother. I too wish sometimes I could redo a lot of times I had with my mother.
Hope your have a great week

Brenda @ Keeping It Southern said...

Your mother was a beautiful woman. My mother is 84 and I know can relate to hard times they had. I was very moved as I read about yours. Thank you for sharing.

Shelia said...

Oh, Bunny, what a touching heartfelt post! Your mother was so beautiful and I know life had to be so hard back then. We are so very blessed today, aren't we?
My mother just turned 88 in June.
Thanks for popping in to see.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Anonymous said...

This is a lovely post to your mother. She looked so pretty in her graduation picture. I see a twinkle in her eye at 97, too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bunny Jean. I was so happy to see that you visited me! You bought the same dishes!!! Well, they look perfect in my kitchen. They don't match the living room - but that is separate, so it's ok. I just love the dishes. The teapot cracked! Boo Hoo. It didn't fall apart, so it is still pretty. You know I think we live in the same desert? So maybe I did buy your returns! LOL!

WhyCuzICan said...

What a touching tribute to your lovely Mom.

...and I don't think she lost her looks as she got older; the beauty of her face is still well in place at age 97, Bunny. What a charmer.

God Bless you and your Mother,
~Suzanne in IL

cj Schlottman said...

Oh, my, this is lovely. Your mother was a true survivor, and in her photo at 97, I can see the beauty in her eyes. You are so blessed to have had her so long. Thanks for this peek into her life.


Nonna Beach said...

Your mother was an inspiring and hard working woman.What a great example of overcoming obstacles that got in her way throughout her life and the lasing legacy of love and caring she gave to so many people as a nurse and a mother !

Anna said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mother! (She was born same year as my uncle, my father's older brother. He would have been 100 this coming November, but even he lived to be over 90 years old.)

I sense that you wish that you knew more about what your mother's dreams and aspirations would have been if the depression had not prevented her from going to college. She may not have wanted to talk about that which never could be. Maybe it hurt too much for her to talk about it. Maybe she did not want to feel bitter.
Try to forgive yourself for the questions that you never asked. I'm sure that you did the best you could.

My own mother has told me a lot about her life, in great detail, which has helped me to understand her better. She did not get to go to college either, but it was because of World War II and the fact that her father helped his nieces and nephews get a higher education first. There was not enough money left for her education when she needed it.

My father is the one whom I wish that I had asked more questions earlier in life, before he started forgetting. He was born 1917 and was also a child of the depression. But he was lucky, he got to go to university, which probably saved his life, as he was drafted in the army during WW II, but became an officer and survived the war.

I think your mother was beautiful, as a child, a young woman and even in old age.

Your post makes me think of many things, but I'll have to stop here, as I don't know how to express my feelings in words.

Thank you for sharing.
Best wishes,

Sanna's Sunshine SC Wk 66

This is my cat's blog post about the letter "P":
P is for Presents - Sara Cat AT-rd-3-P

suzyq said...

What a beautiful lady your mother was and what a beautiful moving tribute from a daughter.
I wrote something about my Dad who passed away when I was 5 -


Another beautiful post about your wonderful mother. She was beautiful and you look like her. You were lucky to have her til 97, wow!! Thank you for sharing. Hugs,

Violetas Rendadas said...

Linda homenagem, você me emocionou muito, obrigada e linda música.

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