The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Dear Mom,

By Elaine Slater Reese-Spring Green, Wi.

It's finally a beautiful day here. It's actually hot after the long, cold winter. The first spring flowers are profusely blooming in their purples, pinks, deep blues, and yellows. I know how much you would enjoy seeing them. And you would probably point out to me each weed that is already growing and tell me that I need to get them out of there NOW.

In just a few days it will be Mother's Day again. That, for me, is always a day of such mixed emotions. I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to be a mother and grandmother-and guess what? Soon I will be a great-grandmother! How exciting!!!

Of course, you know that these days great-grandmothers are younger and younger than they used to be! And I am so thankful to God thatl I had you for my mother.

Of course, we both know that perhaps I didn't always feel that way. You made certain I knew a few of the stories about how head-strong I was-even when a little tyke. You made sure I remembered how when you were hurrying to my baby sister who was needing attention that I slipped the mop out in your path and you tripped over it and had a bad fall. You reminded us-over the years of the time I managed to shut that same sister's head between the two sliding barn doors. And there was the story of my pushing her down the hill in the old red wagon "that" episode left her with permanent dental damage.

And then I became that teenager who knew so much more than you did. Why would I waste my time listening to some older woman like you? I dreaded Saturday mornings when we girls had to clean every room in the house-and I mean clean. Then there were the huge porches to sweep and often scrub. But while we were doing those jobs, you were busy in the kitchen-baking angel food cake, potato salad, jello salads and big containers of lemonade and kool aid so Sunday dinner would be ready when we came home from church. Company was welcome.

Then while the females, young and old, did the dishes, the men each found a large soft old chair in the living room. What music those men made! They each snored in a different octave or key.

We didn't go to the doctor often. You could cure almost anything with Vicks Vapo-Rub or Camphor. You spread sheets of newspaper on the old extended dining room table, grabbed a pair of scissors, and cut out your own patterns. Soon you were at your old Singer machine, making us new dresses, blouses, skirts, and even winter coats. And usually twice a year we all went to the CITY and we were allowed to pick out some new clothes - FROM THE STORE! It was only after I was married that it dawned on me how often you sacrificed and went without so that we could have those.

I can see your face the first time you held our new son in your arms. I knew the tears that streamed down your face were of joy for your new grandson and great sadness all the years later as your remembered placing your little firstborn in his casket. One of my greatest regrets is that there were so many questions I should have asked you - so many things I need to know now that didn't seem to matter a long time ago.

I could continue to write pages of questions and memories. And I would like to mail them to you but I know that Heaven has no PO Box numbers. So I will just continue to thank God that you were my mother and that he has allowed me to experience being a mom also.