May 2, 2010

Sharing Memories (Week 23): Remembering Mother

This is Week 23 of our 52 weeks of Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Journal. I hope you'll join us with your memories! Write them down - you don't have to share them. Your memories can be private - write them in a journal at home, or they can be shared publicly here on OliveTreeGenealogy Blog or on your own Blog.

Soon it will be Mother's Day so it seemed appropriate that this week's topic would be Rembrances of Mother. My own mother passed away January 2009 so I'm going to write about the stories she told me of her childhood, and about her as a person. I'm definitely going to focus on her love of travel and adventure!

Mother began travelling at age 80, treating herself on her 80th birthday to the first of several trips to Australia. She took only enough clothes to fit into a pink Barbie backpack and off she went. She desperately wanted a balloon ride for her 80th birthday but had to settle for a helicopter ride instead. I'd set mother up on the Internet a few years prior, and she arranged to meet many of her online buddies while in Australia. Mother was petite, about 5'2" and always told others that she was "smurfing" the 'net. She never did get it straight.

Over the next 8 years mother took trips to Russia, China, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, S. Africa and of course Australia (her favourite). She also travelled to England dozens of times but never considered that a "real trip". For her, the big trips which she took once a year, were to countries she'd never dreamed she would ever get to.

Her last "big trip" was back to Australia. She was 88 years old and decided she wanted to hike through the Australian outback. So she arranged to go with a group on a safari camping and hiking trip. Most of the hikers were in their 30s or younger. Not wanting to do that trip alone, she convinced her younger sister, age 81, to go with her. The leader warned the sisters that they had to pitch their own tent every night and take it down every morning. Mother in her usual way, simply shrugged her shoulders and stated she could do it on her own if need be.

As it turned out, putting up the tent was the one thing they could not do. Both being so short they couldn't reach high enough to get the pole up and under the tent top. So luckily others on the trip helped them every night. Mother came back from that trip slightly discouraged that she'd needed help. She was very proud of her ability to keep up with others no matter what their age.

If you are lucky enough to still have your mother in your life, you could write about what she means to you, what she's like as a person, stories she has told you, etc. Have fun with this week's Sharing Memories; I think it will be a very long series of journal writing for me personally


hummer said...

Awesome! She is the type of person I aspire to be. Thanks for sharing.
I love your posts.

Greta Koehl said...

What an amazing person; I hope I am as fit and as brave in my 80s as she was!

gerryruth said...

Thank you for these prompts. You invited us to share some of our memories in the comment section, so here is a brief memory of her life as she told it to me, with some comments by inference.

I loved my Mother dearly and she was an affectionate, loving mother. Her early life was good until her father died when she was 13 years old. I don't think she had a really hard time financially, but emotionally there were scars. Her mother was ill and her sisters (9 & 12 years younger) went to live with Grandparents in a different state and she went to a boarding school.

My brother was born when she was 17 years old and she was a single mother. She trained to be a nurse (her Dad was a Dr and there were other Dr's in the family). She became a Practical Nurse (todays LVN).

In 1933 she, my brother and a cousin traveled to Southern California where she met my Dad, a Sailor, and they married after a whirlwind courtship. I wish I had asked more questions about their trip across the USA.

Well enough for now, this is after all your Blog.

Thanks again, for leading us in this journey.

Brenda said...

What an inspiration! A very special mother, a woman after my own heart. Lucky you!