Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Life Unfinished

My mom is 15 going on 95 in some ways.  She was the apple of her father's eye due to the loss of his first wife and infant daughter during the birthing process.  Granddaddy Chandler had four sons with the first Mrs. Chandler.  Fred, the youngest was only 6 when his mom passed away.  Ross, Arl and Jim were the other children in the first family.

Granddaddy Chandler's first family were mostly grown and at least Ross was already married when he met Mary Margaret Mantooth.  He married my Granny Chandler and Mom was their first offspring.  So Granddaddy finally had his daughter.  I have no idea if he spent as much time teaching Mom's two younger brothers, Bud and Clay, or baby sister, Opal.  He spent so much time working with Mom she was double promoted twice. 

According to Mom's recollections she loved school and loved to study.  That was her mantra to us four daughters as we plowed our way through school.  I cannot speak for my sisters but I did not love homework and studying.  I did the work grudgingly simply to make the grades expected of us girls, straight A's.  Anything less meant only Daddy would sign our report cards.  We all survived and have been responsible citizens. 

With always being encouraged to complete tasks as perfectly as possible is was ironic to clean out Mom's home.  We found perfectly started projects.  There were sweater fronts, cap sides, a couple squares of different designs of afagans, patterns pinned to uncut material, pattern pieces pinned to cut material for about 3 outfits and two unfinished garments.  There were crochet items partially completed, book marks in the middle of books and unfinished crafts.

During Mom's last school year she and my Dad dated as much as young folks dated back in the early 1930 Great Depression years.  If you have visited my blog you may know my Aunt Amelia, Daddy's sister, was my Mom's BFF.  They were in the same grade and graduated from the 10th grade in the spring of 1934.  To get the full 11 grade diploma Mom would have to go live "in town" with a relative.  Granddaddy said no and Mom said yes to Daddy's proposal.  So the prodigy that was double promoted twice, salutatorian of the 10 grade school never 'finished' school.

As I visited with Mom on the phone today she changed subjects frequently and had difficulty remembering simple words for objects or people.  But by golly she was telling me that Congress is not doing their job and telling me about other recent news.  She did not remember the word for going into a country with the military, "invasion, Mom?".  "Yes, that is what they (some in Congress) are wanting us to do in Syria.  Another war, when are we ever going to learn?" 

Mom has outlived her classmates, her husband, two younger brothers and most of her other relatives.  She has finished a couple of squares for the AIDS quilt back in the late 90's.  While she may not have finished some crafts, sewing, knitting and other needlework she has had the opportunities to start them.  Wonder how many millions of women have died in childbirth leaving an unfinished life?

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