It’s been a tough family month, emotionally.     Father’s Day without a father and  without a Hubbie,  my children’s father.

These things happen.      We’ll all face loss.

Today is another one of those tough days.    Yes,  Strawberry Full Moon –


No,  “strawberry”  doesn’t mean the Full Moon this month is pink – unless the atmospheric conditions are just right,  smoke in the air perhaps, lots of dusty haze.  But it’s the  Full Moon closest to the time when strawberries are known to begin to ripen enough to eat. Big deal in the days before grocery stores and international food sources.   Wild berries are an excellent and necessary source of vital human nutrition . . . .

No,  this day’s  “toughness”  is because it’s also my Mom birthday.   June 21.    Summer Solstice.    Big deal to us Scandinavians, because this is the most light we get in a day all year.   From now on every day has a little less sunlight.   Not so we notice anymore….  But it will always make me think of my Mom.

One of my favorite photos of her.

Parents Mom cr

She was in her seventies when this photo was taken, I think, or just about.    Golden hair.  It never got gray.    She called her hair “feathers”  because it was thin and silky and resistant to hairdressers’  manipulations.    I loved to touch it.

She was not a pilot,  but she was a musician’s wife, and the musician,  my Dad,  was invited to play for some kind of airplane show one nice Florida afternoon.  And the musicians’  wives  “tag along.”

And that reminds me a lot about my Mom.   How often did she   “tag along” with her husband’s activities;  her daughters’  activities maybe;  to  family get-togethers.     In the 18 years that I lived with her,  I never knew her to complain about “having to go someplace”  but she could always be counted on to “be there”  where the family went.

And she was always cordial,   refined,   ladylike,  feminine,  gentle,  rock-solid anchor in our thoughts because she never got emotional about things.    She  never said an unkind, critical word;  I could trust in her steadiness,  check with her;  get some perspective on the swirling social things that sometimes build up and make us tense.

Oh, she wasn’t a  cypher,  she wasn’t a “nothing.”     She was mother, wife,  homemaker,  assistant to a vice president of a large insurance company in Chicago  (Yes,  I was a latch-key child;  my mother worked in days when that was rare.)     and she was half owner of a music store in a shopping mall and ran the business end of the store as well as waited on customers and gave music lessons.   Then another favorite job:  working in a used bookstore.  For someone who loved to read, this was a perfect “retirement”  job, and her customers loved her.  She was a remarkable quilter.   (How did she learn that?)

I’m trying to figure her out here.    She did so many things without question and without complaining.    I don’t know if she felt “strong,”  but in the end,  she was strong.  She kept going.     I don’t think anyone in her family was “easy” on her and not often “good” to her,  but it didn’t seem to matter.

I think she loved us and she loved us back, no matter what happened.

Maybe that was her strength.

Happy Birthday, Mom.     I still want to be like you.  You are still my example to be strong and to be gentle and ladylike and to love and you always, always knew that God exists.

My goodness,  how you loved!

You would be 90 years old today.




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