Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day

"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. "

~ Kahlil Gibran

For my mother, Rose, I honor you not just today, but every day.

She was born before the Great Depression, the seventh child of immigrant parents who escaped to this country from a small village in Panevėžys, Lietuva (Lithuania).

Her father, Juozas, arrived Ellis Island the 2 AUG 1909 on the Rotterdam by way of The Netherlands. 27 years of age, 5’ 6”, blonde hair, blue eyes, and he had a mark of identification. $10 dollars was all he had, and his destination was Pennsylvania and a brother-in-law who had paid for his passage and would find him work.

Her mother, Tekle, pregnant and left behind, would join him within a few years. With no money in her pocket, she arrived 23 MAY 1911 on the Kursk from Libau, Posen, Prussia, and Germany. 5’ 1”, light complexion, fair hair, dark eyes, she traveled with her young son and sister-in-law. They spoke little or no English. (My grandmother holds my mother. Not pictured, a daughter who died and one not yet born.) Happy Mother's Day, Bobu; you were such an influence on my life.

When mother was eight years old, her father died of lobar pneumonia, related to the coal mines in which he labored. By the time she was in the seventh grade, it was clear that continuing education was not to be. One of her older brothers was able to finish high school, but all the siblings would share in the work effort of helping this family survive. Hopefully, these were times during the Great Depression that most people will never know or understand.

My Mother was taken from us nearly 10 years ago, but vivid in my mind is her gentle smile, those loving eyes, and warm embrace. For as long as I can remember she worked, nearly each day of her life and at whatever task in order to care for our family. She knew much struggle and hardship, loneliness and pain, but she always seemed to muster up the strength, courage and perseverance to get through it and do what needed to be done. She did the best she could. We had little, but she gave us everything:

How you loved to laugh!
An incredibly strong woman, but kind and gentle, a heart so big,
unselfish in every way;

You taught us honesty, responsibility and integrity.
Keep your word, buy only what you can afford, and always pay your bills.
You demonstrated cleanliness and the importance of caring for the little we had;
a work ethic without complaint; sense of humor.
We learned to be independent and you allowed us to find our way.
Unwavering and unconditional was your love, no matter what.

I miss the singing, laughter, tears, your embrace.
How we danced together!

So clearly do I see your beautiful face and feel your presence, your magic,
and know you are at peace. I miss you on this Mother’s Day.

With all my love,


I wrote this last year on mother's day, and thought it worth another post.

To my mother, Rose

Beautiful and glorious is this Sunday morn!
In the coolness of the fragrant garden
so colorful and alive
an early walk along the paths
we strolled together when last you came,
and still I hear your voice.
So many years have passed
yet on this day I weep
as I miss you so
But I rejoice!
for within me lies your love and undying spirit
Nothing can replace that mother's love.

~ Diana

Blessings to all you Mothers, and all who mother. Have a wonderful weekend.