Monday, February 20, 2012

building character

 Life is hard
We are experiencing tough times in 2012
Sometimes a little struggle builds character.
I know the story of how my parents grew up.
 These were real life struggles.
A life during the depression.
A life that many other families experienced and
although maybe not that different from a lot of the stories
that come from my parents generation, it is a story of tough times.
My mother grew up in a family of 14 children. Born to a man
who made his living in the logging business, it was
 the ultimate minimalist lifestyle.We, who describe ourselves as
minimalists (me included), really don't know much about
how minimal a life can be. 
My mother's story is one of great heartache. Her mother died when
she was 3 and the care of Etta Mae and a six month old baby,
as well as the other children, fell to her 12 year old sister.
How did she do it? There was no other choice.
 My mom shared a vivid story of sitting in school one day
and seeing their house, from way across the fields,
catch fire and burn to the ground. So now you have a family of
motherless children living in a chicken coop. Sickness
and cold and a very meager exsistance. How do you do it?
There was no other choice.
A new stepmother for the motherless children should have
 provided relief, but instead Etta was sent to work.
Leaving school in the 6th grade my mom became a house
helper to a family in town. She picked cotton, worked in
the fields and did whatever work she could find to survive.
There was no other choice.
If there was ever a reason for a person to grow into
a bitter and hateful person, my mother had those excuses, but
here is the best part. My mother was not a bitter or sad or
hateful person. My mother knew the value of life, of hard work
and of survival. She loved. That's it. She had a love that was
bottomless. Sometimes I wondered just how she could love so much.
She loved God and God blessed her with this unbelievable
ability to love and we were blessed.
It would be lovely if I could say that at some point all the struggling went
away, but it didn't. My mom knew the heartache of loosing a child to
drug addiction. She lost her eyesight in the late part of her life
God loved her and she knew it. She claimed his promises
and no matter what the world threw at her she loved
through it all. She took us all to the little Baptist church
just down the road from our house and saw to it that
we knew the reason she was
able to love through the struggles.


1 comment:

  1. Hi, I just found your blog and have become your newest follower. I loved reading your story. Your Mom was quite a remarkable woman. I enjoy hearing about strong women, women that choose the high road in life's journey. Thank you for sharing her story.
    I am so in the process of convincing my husband to purchased a travel trailer. I know that a blog like yours might just be the ticket in this mission I have. Please visit my blog and hopefully you will follow me, too. Your blog is incredible! Connie :)