Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day

Mother's Day has often coincided with the first full bloom of tulips in the ranch gardens. This year there is no full bloom. The tulips have been delayed by our enduring winter season. My thoughts about Mother's Day did arrive however, in part, as I looked over my Facebook newsfeed this Mother's Day weekend.

I was drawn by a photo of my grandmother taken in the 1940s that had been posted by my Uncle Jim to honor her on this Mother's Day. It reminded me of a photo I had recently reprinted.

The photo accompanying my blog posting is of my mother, taken in 1944 while she was serving with the Women's Army Corp in the Intelligence Department at the Pentagon. During my childhood and early adulthood I knew my mother had been in the Pentagon during the war but I and my siblings were never told what she had actually done during her military service. She was sworn to secrecy about her activities there until 1972 when she revealed that her service involved decoding the Japanese codes in order to interrupt Japanese supply lines.

I always admired my mother for having served, not only in the WACs, but at the Pentagon. In the 1940s and in her twenties it didn't matter to her that she was a female and the women's movement hadn't yet arrived. To her, anything was possible.

Her adventuresome spirit and a "can do" attitude has followed her throughout her life. While visiting the ranch at seventy-six years old she followed me over an eight foot high livestock fence and thought nothing of it. At eighty-six years old she toured India for two weeks with her younger sister and wondered why she had a cold when she returned home. On her most recent visit to the ranch, at nearly ninety years old, she eagerly accepted an invitation to round up the horses with me in the Gator and then walked out to the arena to watch Andy train some horses. Before lunch we wandered into the garden and she pruned flowers in my garden.

Unfortunately, this spring my mother works at rehabilitating a broken hip and adjusting to a new senior living facility. But to anyone who asks her how she's doing, he or she will hear, "Well, what other choice do I have than to get to work (in physical therapy) and walk again."

On this Mother's Day I feel fortunate to have witmessed her confident spirit in seizing the times of her life, her many lifetime moments of adventure, and now, reclaiming her independence by walking again.



Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

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