Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mother, I love you

This picture was taken on Mom's 40th birthday on May 10th 1978. (Michael 14, Maxine 10, Rebecca 5 and Jared 2)

It will obviously take me many posts to tell you about our Mother. She is one wonderful person. She has many fine attributes. She has always been the love of my Dad's life. I am so proud that I can say they have always kept their marriage vows and covenants.

Valerie Ann Houghton was born in Hull, England in 1938 to Clarence and Laura (Stephenson). She has one sister Doreen. I learned the lady (and she was a lady in every sense of the word) who we called Nana was really my Mother's Aunt. At the young age of 17 our Grandmother, passed away with cancer. She was just 39 years old.

My Mother and her 15 year old sister went to live with their Aunt, Emily Plaskitt. Their Father, by his own choice left them. My Mother and her sister not only lost their dear Mother but their Father too at the same time. (There are more details which are not necessary to post here.)
I couldn't praise Nana Plaskitt enough. She was a wonderful lady. I remember eating porridge for breakfast when we stayed the night at her house. We used to eat it in small margarine tubs. She had a wonderful neighbor, Ron who used to make jam and I remember on so many occasions we would eat home made bread and blackcurrant jam. Some neighbors I remember are Dolly, Mrs Chenery and Mrs Lord. Her house was immaculate. There was never a thing out of place and I remember a glass cabinet she had with lots of cute little ornaments in it. I was so excited that on my last visit to England, my Mother gave me a treasured ornament of a cat sitting in a chair. I will always cherish it.

My Mother is a very strong person and I truly believe it has to do with the fact that she lost both her parents at a young age that she had to be. One of the funniest things she has ever told me was when she met my Dad and he told her he was one of 10 kids. As Mom had only one sister, she asked my Dad if she could meet his family, 'two at a time.' Isn't that cute? When my Grandma (My Dad's Mother) met her for the first time, she asked my Dad how he got so lucky. "She is beautiful".

They were married on March 31st 1962 and have been in love ever since. There is not one thing one of them would not do for the other. They raised 4 children and are wonderful parents. Even now in Dad's sorrow and pain I know he is praying for his wife and children and grandchildren.

Mom was one of those Mothers who stayed at home with her children and was very active in their lives. I remember whatever was going on at our schools, she was there for us. She cooked wonderful meals and took great care of us. She got very upset whenever one of her children were upset. She shared their joys and their pains and still does.
Mom's favorite color is pink. She loves shoes and purses/handbags. She loves desserts, cakes and pies and mousses and ice-cream. Her favorite drink is Horlicks. She loves to do puzzles and crosswords. She doesn't like the months January and February. She likes BOILING water when she takes a bath. I often wonder how her body could take it. She is always freezing. She loves the sun. She loves shopping. Her favorite time of year is Christmas and her house looks like Santa's grotto. She has taken after her Aunt Emily for always having a tidy and clean home. Mom has always taken great care of herself and with no surgeries, has kept her young looks and her cute figure. She likes to watch good movies, "Gone with the Wind" and "Titanic" are a couple of her favorites and really loves "Remember the Titans" ever since she watched in over and over whilst visiting us.

My Dad has always been proud of my Mom. He was never happy if she was not by his side. She truly is the light of his life. Now during his darkest hour, she is there for him every step of the way. Day in, day out seeing to his needs and taking care of him. Just today during our daily phone call, I could hear her checking on him and asked if needed anything. We both had a giggle when she said "I am just on the phone with Maxine, don't go anywhere". Like he was just going to jump up and leave the room.

It pains me greatly to think that the two of them used to go out daily to run errands, go to the city center, or simply to visit someone, are now housebound. I will always be grateful to her for her patience, her kindness, her love for her family and for inviting the Missionaries back to their home over 40 years ago. She has sustained my Dad in every church calling he has had. Never one to complain.

I know there will come a day when she will need me and I will be there for her. Being that I am very much like my Dad, she will enjoy my jokes and sense of humor. The very last promise I made my Dad, was to always look after Mom. When I asked him, on my most recent visit to England if he was worried about dying, he said "NOOOOO (very strong voice) my only concern is your Mother". I said , "You don't have to worry about a thing, we will take great care of her."

I will honor that promise.

"We love you Dad"

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