Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Blessing of a Great Parent

Last night we attended the memorial of our friend's dad. It was a great service for remembering him, if you can call those kind of things `great'. One thing that stuck out to me was how similar our childhoods were. My friend and I both had parents that took us all over North America (driving and camping), boating, and just loving the outdoors. Both of us are now science teachers who love the outdoors and family time. Another thing that was mentioned was how supportive her dad was. Just being there. My mom was busy, with 5 kids and working part time, but she was there for us. There were times that I wished that she had attended some of my cross country meets or soccer games but she was working and I understood it. Also, when she asked if she should come, I would say, `Oh, it's okay, don't worry about it'. I think in my heart I was saying, `Please come!'. I think if my boys say that it doesn't matter, I'll go. I hope I do!! Our home was very loving and supportive but we didn't say `I love you' often enough. I knew I was loved but emotions weren't shared regularly (boy, my teenage years must have thrown them for a loop!! Super emotional!!!). Well, when my mom got sick, then we shared our thoughts and emotions a whole lot more. And here...some pictures of my mom. A truly great mother and wife.

You know how pictures just take you back? My mom was often found hemming or sewing some of our clothes but she always had time to involve us (that's Jan) in it.
My nap time with mom.
Playing outside at our old house. I did not inherit my mom's skinny genes. My sister Jackie fell out of the kitchen window. Five kids later and she was still 125lbs.
Camping and exploring. Lovely clothes, I know. Did people even care about clothes back then?
Welcoming baby girl #5!!! Like my mullet?
Mom always let me do her hair, even while breastfeeding a baby. As a kid I always wanted to be a teacher or a hairdresser. Just a note that she cloth diapered and breastfed us all. Thanks mom!
She didn't play with us but she read stories, biked, walked etc with us and was just present with us.
Who takes 5 kids camping?! Thumbs up to my mullet!
Celebrating 15 years of marriage in her Michelle Duggar type dress:)
Reading to my sister Jan...just good memories in that old house!! My dad made those beds and my nieces have them now:)
This picture above was on her memorial bulletin. It just captures that she loved life.
Getting ready for Christmas dinner. Mom busy in the kitchen, dad complaining that he has to cut up the turkey:)
Mom and dad...last fall together.

I feel so blessed to be a parent. I know what a huge job it is and I'm so thankful for the opportunity. I hope and pray that I will always be close to my boys. I hope that they are able to look back on their lives and say that they had a wonderful childhood (I realize I can't control and protect them from everything) and that they had pretty great parents too:)


  1. Beautiful reflections Louise. I love hearing about your mom.

  2. what a fantastic post! it is such a blessing to have a great parent, and from my perspective, you're doing a wonderful job with your boys :)

  3. That's a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your pictures especially your mullet :)

  4. so nice Louise, I like reading your memories about your mom. What was her name?

  5. Rachel, her name was `Greta'. Although I wouldn't loved to have worked it into one of the boys names/middle doesn't work very well in any form:)

  6. 1. The photo of mom in her wedding dress at the 15 year anniversary - I LOVE the clock in the background - we had that one forever! Does dad still have it?
    2. The photo after that, of her reading to Jan: I have her pink jumper suit ;) . I kept it for fun, like "80's day" or something ;).
    3. I fell out of the window?? That could explain my amnesia!!...

  7. That picture of your mom and dad at the end made me cry. They look so in love...even after five kids! It is beautiful to see that expression in their faces.

  8. I really enjoyed learning more about your childhood. What a wonderful Mom! So nice you have so many great photos and memories. And, I concur - TWO THUMBS UP to your MULLET!! That thing was sweet! In all it's forms.

  9. 1) maybe a teenage boy really owuldnt want his parent at all his events?
    2) love the mullet. would you ever grow it again?> for real;i would grow one with you to see who could grow it better or something (a competition always helps!)
    3) thanks for the pics.
    make me cry when you see pics again and realize she is really gone, not coming back.

  10. beautiful! And what a wonderful legacy your mom has left in her 5 girls! :)
    PS Maria's girls look EXACTLY like she did as a kid.

  11. Anonymous3:02 PM

    I loved looking at your pictures from when you were little. Reminds me so much of my house growing up with all the girls. I also wanted to either be a teacher or a hairdresser when I grew up. Also, your pictures, which I assumed you scanned have excellent quality/clarity. Did you use a program to do that?