Mom’s 96th Birthday

Today, September 6, 2015 would have been our mom’s 96th birthday.  This is one of our favorite pictures of her taken 12 years ago.  Life doesn’t work out the way it should – when she was alive and living at her home in Garner and then when she lived at Concord Care Center, I was so busy working that I didn’t have enough time to spend with her.  Now I’m retired and have plenty of time and she’s gone.  She and Becky always went for so many rides – most of them around Clear Lake .  I was the oldest and Becky is the youngest with a brother between us.  Mom was hard on me and I, in turn, was hard on her in my younger days.  I was the overachiever with the high work ethic and Becky was always the “baby” in mom’s eyes, shaking her head in amazement at some of the things she did but never protesting too much.

Mom was extremely blunt and direct, a trait that she personified at the Care Center.  Oh, she did say some funny things!  And after being at the care center for a bit, began calling it “home sweet home”.  When we would return her after an outing, she’d always say that and then add, “who knew it was the most popular place in town?”  She definitely took a bad situation and made the best of it.

She spent over 40 winters in Edinburg, TX, and led an exercise class there for the residents in the park.  When she quit going to Texas, she started a Senior exercise class at our church that still meets every weekday morning at 8:30 as they exercise to the tape she made for them.  She taught country school as a young woman and took up the game of golf when we were kids, paying for her membership with her egg money.

We miss her and I wanted to write this short tribute to her on her birthday.

45 thoughts on “Mom’s 96th Birthday

  1. Paula S.

    What a wonderful tribute to your mother. You also have honored her by working hard and being successful as a businesswoman and sharing your many talents and passions with so many people. I’m sure she was and still is very proud of you.

  2. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Hi Mary,
    Thank you for sharing your tribute to your Mom and showing us her photo. I quite understand that you miss her, both the good and the bad! She sounds like quite a character, and that can be challenging for a child, even as an adult. I’m sure you and Becky and your brother have lots of reminiscences to share when you get together.

    1. jane

      i echo Fiona’s words – kind, sensitive, and apt. i know many of us in feeling bereft when their mom’s died. Mary, you did real good.

  3. Carol

    Wonderful tribute! We live as long as we are remembered. My father, August Twachtman, would be having his 96th birthday on September 8.

  4. Cathy Davis

    Mom’s are such important people in our lives. It’s heartbreaking to lose them, though they really live on in our hearts ♡. You look like for Momma Mary!

  5. Cathy Davis

    Mom’s are such important people in our lives. It’s heartbreaking to lose them, though they really live on in our hearts ♡. You look like your Momma Mary!

  6. Carol

    My girlfriend’s mom passed this year at the “ripe old age” of 95. She would have been 96 this past August, just a few weeks ago. She was a lovely lady with so many tales to tell…a homesteader in Alaska before it was a state!

    I loved listening to her stories, even when the sames stories were told the very next day…”Did I ever tell you about the time we kids made root beer with the folks?” she’d start out, and we’d think “yes, but we’re going to hear it again and we’ll enjoy it as much the tenth time as we did the first!” She was a great storyteller because she lived what she told!

    She was an incredible hand quilter, machine quilter, embroiderer, appliqué artist….she’d tell us about each quilt she made, and and the fabrics in them and what was going on in her life when she made them.

    She was gracious, and sweet, and loving; I called her “Mom” and often wished my own mom shared some of those qualities (she has many good qualities, don’t get me wrong, but they can be evidenced inconsistently!) Anyway, I miss her stories, her sweet attitude and her gorgeous craftsmanship. Would that someone would eulogize me that way some day … in the far distant future.

  7. Launa

    Very nice to hear about your mother. You must be so thankful she made you take piano lessons and PRACTICE.
    Sept. 6th is also our 57th anniversary……….wonder how that happened? Time just passes so quickly, doesn’t it? We don’t make a big thing with gifts for each other.
    Both granddogs are keeping us company since early morning; four wee black eyes darting back and forth just anticipating a wee morsel of food when we eat any meal. I finished a project and got out your Fabulous Small Quilts book……I hadn’t noticed nor marked the Peels quilt with a sticky note, but have 36 different red Peels ready to fuse to smaller bkgrnd blocks once I decide on the bkgrnd. So much new in fabric lines coming out now. Also the Fall/Winter Shop Sampler 2015 from American Patchwork and Quilting is available. Look for the cover map in sort of pumpkin color like the Spring/ Summer 2015 issue green USA map cover.
    Warming up again in the valley……

  8. Linda Hanley

    Hi Mary – You look a lot like your Mom. You could not receive a higher compliment. You also have many very good memories of her and that is great. Your friend, Linda

  9. Saundra Handy

    Thanks so much for sharing your tribute with us. I feel like I know you Mother. She sounds like a interesting character. My Mom told me after pleading with her to quilt, I’ll do that when I get old. We almost lost her a few years ago. After her recovery I told her, Mom it’s time to start quilting. I treasure our quilting moments and I know there won’t be many more, but for now I will put them in my treasury box and keep them in my heart. Your stories always touch me.

  10. eydie

    Thank you for so sweetly sharing the good, bad and ugly in all of us in a wonderful tribute.
    Life is not always what we planned but we do the best we can.
    I’ll bet your Mom is watching over the Rainbow Bridge with all of the animals you have
    given extra time on this planet, just waiting to give you another Hug!
    Don’t ever forget how many lives you touched (both human and animal) with your creative
    work ethic.

  11. eydie

    So sweet of you to share the good, bad and the ugly along with a great photo and tribute.
    Life is not always perfect but we do the best we can. Isn’t it amazing what you can see in
    the rear view mirror?
    I’ll bet your Mom is watching over the Rainbow Bridge with all of the animals you have
    given extra time on the planet to and waiting to give you a huge Hug

  12. Julie

    What a wonderful tribute to your mom. God Bless your mom, you, your sister and brother. The picture is beautiful!

  13. PJ

    Happy Birthday to your Mother in Heaven, thanks for sharing your story, enjoyed reading it, it is so difficult to lose our parents, but our memories keep them with us. And you look just like your Mother…💖💖

  14. Jan B

    Loved reading about your Mom. It sounds like she was a hoot! My mom would have turned 93 this past July. She died when just a few months shy of her 91st birthday. I agree that life is backwards as I, too, am now retired & could spend much more time with her. She spent the last 2 years of her life in a nursing home as she had Alzheimer’s (as did my dad when he died 30 years ago!). She never understood where she was & always wanted to “go home”. It was so sad! Unfortunately, she did NOT make the best of her situation but I don’t think she was able to. Miss her every day! Thanks for sharing your story!

  15. Starrla Opferman

    Seeing the wonderful tribute to your Mom and your mentioning regrets made me want to share. My Mom has been gone 5 years. I worked as an RN but was always able to get off to be with her for all her cardiac events as well as going home several times a year. I knew how much she meant to me and I always worried about her dying alone. Well she did not. My sisters, nieces and nephews and my own boys were with her but I could not make it. My husband and I were house boating in Kentucky with a group of friends. We drove all night but just could not make it to northern Michigan in time. I have regrets for not being there even though my fear of her being alone did not happen. She was a wonderful Mom and I miss her so much.
    I did not happen on to your site until after you closed your store. Can’t even remember how I got here but I so enjoy your post and especially your gardens and 4 legged pals.

  16. Pat

    What a beautiful tribute.
    Someone told me when my mother passed “when mom is gone home is gone”.
    All who have lost parents share an unspoken bond.

  17. Diane

    You do look like her, Mary. It’s nice to remember your mom. :). We all probably have good, medium, and so so memories, but they make us who we are:). My bday is tomorrow and the oldest grand daughter’s was the 3rd. All the good people were born in Sept!! LOL.

  18. Katherine Schloemer

    Happy birthday to your mom.
    Most stories of our lives are not much different than yours. I also was the oldest child. Your story sounds like mine. With the difference that our mom passed passed away at age 54. But, we still had dad. I know he asked my sister why I didn’t come to visit. Now it’s my turn. I lost my husband a year ago and my kids don’t visit. I’m 62 and see life just repeating itself. How sad I think to myself that I was to busy to go see my dad…

  19. Rhoda

    What a wonderful tribute to your mom Mary and you are like her in many ways.
    You are still an overachiever and she would be or is most proud of you.
    She raised a fine daughter in you.
    Happy Birthday to her.

    Rhoda E

  20. Rose Mikulski

    Such a wonderful way to remember your mother by sharing your story with us. I miss my mom too.

  21. Mary Ann Platt

    Beautiful tribute. My mother in law is 105. We moved her from NJ to IL when she was 99. She lives 3 minutes from our home in an assisted living facility. (She has extra care.) About 4 weeks ago, she stopped eating and drinking so she is, of course , declining. She too was opiniated evn now. If she doesn’t want someone to do anything to or for her, she lets them know. Wonder lady who led an awesome life. Strong faith.

  22. Karen

    The facial resemblance between you and your Mom is striking, Mary! And both of you have/had that “just go do it” attitude! It is good to stop and remember so many things ur Moms passed along to us … I myself remember more of those every day.

  23. Diane Deibler

    What a touching tribute to your mom,Mary. She did a great job raising two wonderful girls!

  24. Beryl Hoff

    Great memories to share!!
    Don’t beat yourself up…you did what you thought best at the time. I’m sure she didn’t love you any less. I often think those kind of thoughts of my Dad, I miss him too despite the rough times. Hind sight is always more clear than today.
    Thanks for all of you stories! They are a delight to read!

  25. Mary R.

    Your story about your Mom could be my story. Yes, I am the first child and “should have known better” at the age of 5. Mom still does not agree with me on most things. She turns 93 in October, still living at home and very independent, yet I still love her very much.

  26. Mary

    What a nice tribute to your mom. I miss my mom and wish she could still be here on earth so we could talk. I realize that if she could visit we would probably disagree about certain things but I’d still welcome the visit. You have a lovely photo of her!

  27. Emily

    Mary, thank you for sharing your story of your Mom . Being the oldest of six, I can relate. I love reading your blog and seeing those beautiful quilts in your home. I look forward to learning how to make a rag rug, too!
    You take care and have a wonderful day.

  28. Cindy Sabinske

    What a wonderful tribute to her, she definitely was a super woman and I bet she was a great mentor to many!! My mother was like this too, one of my closest friends she imprinted the most…she followed my mother’s career to be a nurse…and so impressed that your mother made lemondaid even if it was still lemons!! Great attitude, we should all be so lucky!! Thanks for sharing.

  29. Mareen

    Oh Mary it is so true we get so busy with our lives and before you know it we are there….it goes by in a flash!

  30. Rosemary

    Rachel and I enjoyed the picture of your mom and reminisced about our visits with her at the home while we were there vising grandpa. She was a great lady and you can be very proud to call her your mom!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Rosemary and Rachel – that is sweet of you to say and to remember her.

  31. Ann Barlament

    Lovely tribute to your mom…..I hope that someday I will be able to forget the love/hate relationship between me and mom. But for the grandmother that raised me…I hope to be half the woman she was!!

    My parents both died in November 2011 and for Now they are dancing on a star lit floor.

  32. Ann from NC

    What a great lady!! My Mom would have been 103 this year. She has been gone 15 years and I
    still miss her and Dad so much.
    Ann from NC

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