gratitude & hoopla: Saturday Re-wind: Patricia

gratitude & hoopla

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

8.7.06

Saturday Re-wind: Patricia

This is an old post from Mr. Standfast, better than 2 years old now, a tribute to my mother. Since then her husband has passed away and now she's dealing with breast cancer (btw, I know she'd appreciate your prayers). She's tough as nails, though. Everything I wrote about her 2 years ago still holds true today:
Her name is Patricia Imogene. She was born on a farm in southern Indiana. Like many people who grow up on a farm, she has always been both gentle and tough--soft, but stubborn--like saddle-leather. When she was a girl, her father died, and her mother moved the family into town. That would be Columbus, Indiana. This must have been a very hard time in her life, but I'm only guessing, because she never spoke of it much. She has never been one to speak of such things, except in the most matter-of-fact way. Later, she married her high-school sweetheart. I don't know, maybe he reminded her of her Dad. He was smart, funny and ambitious. He joined the Navy. They moved a lot. Home was always very far away. After a while things began to turn very bad. Rotten, that's her word. She learned to curse like a sailor. When it was all too much, she divorced him and moved to another state. Three kids. No job. No friends. No child-support in the mail, as promised. But she kept everything together. She held on. She did the best she could. She poured herself out for her children. That's a cliche, but that's what you really need to know about her. She worked as a seamstress in a factory, sewing cushions. Eventually she married again. She learned to drink like a truck-driver when his shift is done. Her kids grew, and had the usual troubles, some of them quite bad. She made mistakes, but she kept on pouring herself out. It was just a matter of fact. Her mother-love was stubborn, unpretentious, unassuming, sacrificial, and overcoming. She loved when it didn't seem to matter or make sense. She kept on and kept on and kept on.

Now she's taking care of her husband, who's in failing health. Her children have scattered. They write, they call, but they seldom visit. The farmland of her childhood is all paved over. The place where her dog went to die, after it had been kicked by the horse--paved over. If you ask her how she's doing, she says, "Oh, fine, I guess. Can't complain. It wouldn't do any good anyway."

Listen. Here's all you really need to know about Patricia Imogene. She drank the cup she was given. Sometimes it was sweet, sometimes bitter, but she drank it up. She lived her life.

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