With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation. – Psalms 91:16
And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. Genesis 6:3
I write a bit about my paternal DNA, the connection I have with my dad through:
- my mechanical bent
- and writing
I am aware I do not write about my mother, unless it it is in reference to her family ancestors, the Rightmeiers. This has nothing to do with a preference for my dad over my mom but purely out of respect for her privacy. Mom is still alive and well. Dad passed on in March 2000. I endeavor to be respectful of all of my family, living or not, but also know that privacy for those still living is another facet of respect.
Birthday’s Are For A Love Letter
I am making an exception with this post. My mother’s birthday is in the month of February and I want to honor her. She is in her 80s and just as beautiful as ever. She is alert, strong and active. I am grateful to have her DNA woven into mine. If I got my sense of adventure from Dad, Mom taught me how to prepare and plan. Mom imparted to me great organization skills which have served me well from housekeeping to organizing air traffic. She instilled in me not just the sense of beauty but how to bring it into reality – on a budget. If Daddy was a visionary, mom made it happen.
A Trip To Remember And A Daily Love Letter
A trip we took to Seattle for a family wedding comes to mind. My father was to walk his youngest sister down the aisle. I was five or six, my next sister around two and my youngest at the time a baby. We were driving. Two days up, two days back and a few days on site for the wedding. I was the ring bearer or flower girl and I think my younger sister was the other. Details escape me, but I do remember this:
- Daddy built a spacer that turned the back seat of the ’57 Plymouth into a flat service so that a twin mattress could fit. This was the kid domain in which to play, ride and nap during the long trip.
- It also created a place to store provisions under the spacer on the floor of back seat. A cooler and other items for the road were packed there.
- Mom put together food packs for our meals as well as activity packs – two for each of us for each day. These were wrapped like gifts and stored under the platform. We could open them at the appointed time IF we behaved. They served to keep up busy. They contained comic books, coloring books and games to play on the road. Remember the Burma shave signs?
It was mom’s attention to detail that made the trip a success – as far as I can recall. I remember anticipating like Christmas, each play and food packet. They were daily packages, like a love letter, from Mom.
Of course I was unaware these were not just for fun but also to preserve the trip’s budget of next to nothing and the sanity of my parents with three small children. There may have been some, but I do not remember, fussing, tears or any “don’t make me stop this car” moments.
Lists And Details
She nurtured attention to detail by making lists of chores to complete before we could go out to play on Saturday. I still use checklists every day. From daily tasks, to pre-flight, take-off and landing when I fly, the checklist discipline, I got from my mom. In fact, I don’t remember dad using a written checklist when he flew….mom’s are smart.
She taught me to finish what you start with excellence. Housework was one of her teaching platforms using the “do it again” method. For instance, dusting required:
- removing all items from a surface before dusting
- dusting and polishing the surface
- dusting each item
- only then returning the item to its proper place
More Things I Value Because Of Mom
- Leftovers and scraps, not just to collect (like Dad) but to turn into something useful – now.
- Mom worked vary hard to corral my “swing from the trees”, “chase lighting bugs” and “tendency to wander off” energy into useful focused activities. For the most part it has worked.
- Daddy liked to take risks, Mom reminded us that (and Him) that risk must be approached with eyes open and with respect. Sometimes I listened, sometimes I ended up at the emergency room getting stitched up or plaster casted, but I learned the value in assessing risk. A good thing for an air traffic controller and pilot.
- She taught me the value of truth and obedience and enlisted my reluctant father in the enforcement of consequences. I was a fairly quick learner.
Both Mom and Dad saw a spiritual hunger in me, but Mom made sure we were ready to go to church and got us there on time. Daddy said “us girls” always looked nice because mom made sure we did! It was not without planning, effort and the ability to herd – bet she got that from her farm upbringing!
So Happy Birthday Mom. I love you and am grateful for your life and for the many years to come.
Who will you be sending a love letter to this month? Aw come on – don’t be bashful! Comment below and be sure to subscribe.