Unconditional Love of my Mother: In Memory of Mom
My Mother and I In April of 2008
The Death of My Mother
The words came slowly and sadly from my brother, "Ma passed away last night." I wasn't shocked by these words, because mom had been suffering terribly from Parkinson's disease for the past two years. The disease had taken such a toll on her that she couldn't walk or talk and had to be fed through a tube into her stomach before she died.
i controlled my sorrow while talking with my brother, but after I got off the phone I started to realize that I had lost the only person in my life who had given me unconditional love. Ma gave that love to all of my sisters and brother. In good times and in bad times, she loved us all equally and never expected anything in return.
My Mother, Father, and Youngest Sister
Unconditional Love of my Mother
I will really miss the unconditional love, forgiveness, and caring ma had as mother for all of us. No matter how many times we hurt her with things we did, ma was always ready to forgive us. From the time I broke the record player as a kid until the last time when I wasn't truthful about my intentions to stay overseas, ma could always forgive, even though I knew she was hurt. I remember living in a warm home while growing up, because ma was always there as a caring mother. She quizzed me so many times on spelling words as a young boy, and encouraged me to dare to be different and follow my dream, although it meant I would be away from her for long periods of time. While I was away to school, in the Navy, and living overseas, ma was the only person who would regularly write me letters, send cards, and always send a Christmas gift package with candy and cookies. She did this up until four years before her death.
A Self-Educated Woman
Although my mother had to drop out of school after the ninth grade, she became a self-educated person. Besides reading a lot, she wrote some poetry and even had a cookbook published. Our house had a big library which was filled with all kinds of stimulating interesting books. In her later years, ma collected a lot of antiques and art work. About a year before she passed away, I still remember her sitting in a chair reading a newspaper one morning.
A Strong Woman
Ma had a strong will, treated everyone equally, and wasn't afraid to fight for her rights. After dad started farming when I was young, we had a landlord who lived down the hill from us. He sometimes took advantage of my dad who was afraid to stand up for his rights. Ma was just the opposite. One day, I remember hearing her sternly "telling old Mac off" when he was making unreasonable demands. My brother, sisters and I were all treated equally, and everyone shared the chores and had their responsibility.
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My Mother and Father
Mom and Children in 1958
A Model Wife and Homemaker
When my father died in 2004, ma and dad had recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Throughout the marriage, ma had been a model housewife and more. After we scattered dad's ashes in the woods overlooking our old farm, ma and I drove up to see her three sisters in central Wisconsin. As I drove, ma was reminiscing a lot about dad and how their romance started when they rode the bus together in Milwaukee during the Second World War. Six weeks later they got married. Actually, when ma met dad she was already engaged to a richer man from her hometown. She broke off the engagement by sending the engagement ring back to Fred, and then traveling to Iowa with dad for a honeymoon after getting married in Milwaukee.
Ma and dad had similar interests and worked their whole lives for the future of us kids. Both stressed the importance of education to better one's life. if it wasn't for their sacrifice, two of my younger sisters and I wouldn't have graduated from college. After dad started farming in 1954, ma helped dad in the barn every day milking cows in addition to taking care of three young children. Ma also worked outside of the farm to help dad with bills after my youngest sister started the first grade. After dad stopped farming when my youngest sister graduated from law school, ma would accompany him to town where they enjoyed antique shopping and meeting and talking with elderly folk. Dad often had a hot streak, but I will always remember ma giving him unconditional love just like she did for all the kids.
A Generous Friend
Finally, my mother was a warm, generous, and outgoing person who had many friends. She was very generous, especially to relatives and friends of my father who would visit and always stay for dinner. In her later laters, she volunteered as a clerk at a Saint Vincent DePaul store and had many friends there.
Ma is gone now and we will all miss her very much. Her unconditional love will especially be missed. You deserve to be in heaven, ma!
Dorothy Kuehn, my mother, passed away on May 7, 2011.
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© 2011 Paul Richard Kuehn
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