Saturday, October 29, 2011

#125 - Weird Numbers and a Big Bottom Lip!

For me, the number 38 has great meaning. First of all, I gave my mother her first grand-child when she was only 38.

Me holding Heather in Germany.

Since I am now 43 years old and have two grown daughters in their 20's, I am especially aware of how young my mother and I had been with having our children, which made her an extra-young-grandma.

Heather, Deputy Dave, Stefie, me, my mom and my Sissy, Robin.

What is extra strange about this is that my grandmother --- my mother's mother was also 38 when I was born.

Here is my grandmother in her 40's, holding my baby sister.

My grandmother had been 19 when she gave birth to my mother, my mother was 19 when she gave birth to me and I had been 19 when I gave birth to Heather. Those two numbers keep coming up this month...19 and 38.

Four Generations: My mother, me, my grandmother and my great-grandmother.
Of these four, the oldest, my great-grandmother has passed away
and my mother has passed away.

Thankfully, my daughters are in no particular rush to have children or to do things out of order with the get married first goal...we keep our fingers crossed! Since we've made it quite past the 19 year old phase for both of our daughters, there was no chance I'd be a grandmother at 38 years of age. I would have my hands full during my 38th year, but not with welcoming a life into the world...I would be 38 and having to say goodbye to my own mother as she went home to her Heavenly Address.

Here's my mom and my grandmother, we are actually on our
acreage for a family gathering. I feel so blessed that my mother was
able to see where we would be living during our retirement years.

However, as I remember what it felt like to be 38, I realize just how very young my mother had been to become a grandmother. Also, for so many generations in my family, when a woman got pregnant, the other women essentially went into mourning.

Here's my young mother with my baby sister.

It wasn't a really happy kind of news to get. Instead, the women grew very serious, even with crying and despondency. I never really understood...until today. All the grief was simply due to the woman becoming pregnant so young...a life full of responsibilities would be underway at such a tender age and each generation knew the sacrifices and the hardships that being a young mother would bring. I guess that each generation hopes the next generation could put off rearing children for just a tad longer.

And here's my young grand-mother with my baby sister.

Today was particularly tough. Deputy Dave has been doing some major work over at my parent's house and my job is to help go through a lot of my mother's belongings. My parents house is full of everything that symbolizes "mom" except for her presence. She's gone. She died about 5 1/2 years ago at age 57 after waging a war against breast cancer for about 2 1/2 years, and even though she wasn't a "survivor," she went BEYOND just surviving to being a warrior. A warrior doesn't always make it home from the battle and my mother fought such ugly chemicals and body distorting surgeries and endured radiation that literally drilled a dark, gaping hole into her body while blackening the surrounding skin as if it were charred by fire. She fought the cancer with everything she had, until the very end.

And on the day I said goodbye to my mother for the final time. I was 38 years old.

I guess I broke the expectation that we'd all end up a grandma at 38. I worked so hard to make sure my daughters went off to college so they would be educated and have choices throughout life.

Here are my two hoodlums. This picture has them looking "off"
but I still wanted to use it. The perfectly posed shots can be used another day.

But, at 38 years of age, I watched my mother die peacefully from home...the woman who gave birth to me at only 19 years of age, with a body riddled by polio...even so, she went on to eventually complete college studies all the way to the day she earned her Master's Degree in Education.

While juggling WAY too much at home, my mother managed to somehow get the three of us kids raised and on our way. Today, we're all great adults who treasure freedom, embrace a great work ethic, hold firm to our faith, and we each are raising our own loving families.

And here is teeny-tiny Stefie with ALL THE BLACK CURLY HAIR
that eventually turned blonde.

My daughters helped to break the pattern of three generations of women who were having babies by the age of 19 and creating grandma's at 38. Like Deputy Dave said tonight, "When the day comes for me to become a Pappy, I want to at least look and feel like one so I can act the part just right."

Here is little 1 1/2 year old Heather playing on her back-patio in Germany.

And I must say that my family proved that being a young mother is not such a tragedy afterall. Each generation did just fine and we are all college educationed, professional women who stand up for our beliefs. Things worked out just fine...only because we each had a strong mother in our corner.

Stefie....fuzzy, wuzzy in a blanket.

I pray that I will be here long after my daughters' each turn 38 years of age so that I can enjoy life for as long as the Good Lord will let me

Weird that Stefie hasn't joined our little family yet.
But, at this point, it wouldn't be long!

And since my mother's birth-date is November 19th...I have another number 19 coming up very soon that is meaningful to me, but my mom can be daughters are living it up and enjoying life a little bit before the hard work of babies begins. Thank long as I'm a grandparent BEFORE the age of 78!

I love this picture of my girls when so young. This epitomizes all that
they held dear to them in life...being barefoot, in the rain, holding their
own umbrella.


Farmchick said...

A wonderful, heartfelt post with a huge range of emotion.

Tim and Kari O'Brien said...

What a beautiful tribute to the women in your family. You are a wonderful role model for your daughters and what a legacy your girls have in their heritage: Their grandmother was a Warrior Princess! ~Kari said...

Farmchick --- thank you...always thinking of family and the love we share. Those we miss, we still hold dear. :-)

Kari --- thanks! I do feel like making a tribute to the women in my family; women really are the backbone to families women are the GLUE! And yes, I do feel as if my daughters' grandmother (my mom) was a Warrior Princess! I like that one!!

Rae said...

:) My guy disappointed his mom, as his mom was born when grandma was 20, and LJ was born when his mom was 20... And LJ is now in his 30s with no kiddos (yet). Totally broke the streak. Lol. Eh, mayhaps we'll have a kiddo running around in a couple years. :)

Kelsie From Our Country Home said...

This was a lovely post to the mothers in your family...Young, strong, smart and brave...I hope one day my girls will remember me with such respect...I was just 19 when I had Big Daughter, then waited 15+ yrs to have the next one...and in that same month I became a Great Aunt...It is strange comparing baby stories about my second, with the niece whom I helped raise to age 3 while I was pregnant with my first.

I hope all is going well in Houston.

Blessings Kelsie