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A Mother's Legacy - To My Daughter With Love

Updated on March 11, 2015
Always act like a lady
Always act like a lady | Source


My Mom was the best teacher I ever had. From years ago, sitting on her lap, to years later, sitting over a cup of coffee, Mom gave me the foundation I needed in every aspect of life.

Mom never preached. She never demanded. Many of her lessons to me were received by watching her live her life in a virtuous manner.

Through my adult years, I had given Mom several journals, some with built in questions and others, blank, for free expression. I was never so bold as to ask for them back. I prayed that she would take some time to write, with so many nuggets of wisdom and family history to share. Mom was sharp as a tack until the day she died on May 7, 2010, at the age of 82.

Miss Sammie and mar
Miss Sammie and mar | Source

Mom's memories of school ....

"High school was a feeling that we were now grown-ups. As a freshman, my favorite subjects were Latin and English. Maybe I chose those two because I liked the teacher so much. As a freshman, she was Miss Esalee Jordan. I had her for English all four years. She married and became Mrs John Burdette. She taught me Latin I and Latin II. As a Junior and senior, she was my French I and French II teacher. She could somehow always make a class interesting and keep your attention.

I also liked US History as a senior probably because we were involved in World War II. I'll never forget the chills I felt when President Roosevelt declared war after Pearl Harbor.

My high school days were carefree.` As a junior in Physical Ed, I played catcher and third base in softball. We also had an obstacle course we had to tackle twice a week.

I think Home Economics was my least favorite subject. But one year was compulsory to complete graduation requirements. I took it my junior year. I did make an apron and a dress. Also, we had some cooking sessions.

I graduated on May 24th, 1943, and 4 days later I had my 16th birthday. Having earned good grades, I was the class Valedictorian. I won an all expense paid tuition at the University of Georgia. I also won a scholarship for a 2-year business course in Athens. Naturally, none of it came to fruition."

According to my Father, a girl didn't need more than a high school education. Marriage was the chosen career during the 1940s.

Sammie Hinton, May 24, 1943, Valedictorian
Sammie Hinton, May 24, 1943, Valedictorian | Source

Mom's Valedictorian Speech: America- Our Heritage

Parents, Teachers, Friends:

On behalf of the Senior Class, I bid you welcome. It is with genuine pleasure that we greet you tonight-- at this our last appearance as a Senior class of Washington High School.

As we gaze into the past of our great country, we see evidences of our heritage which are all summed up in one word, "Freedom". Why was America founded? Why did emigrants leave their country and come to a distant world so far from their own homes? The answer to both of these questions is that our ancestors wanted freedom, and they were willing to tear themselves away from their homes and to come to a new world where they could begin life anew.

When the "Pilgrims" settled in the new world and formed the English colonies, they were able in some respects to enjoy freedom, but still they did not have freedom from the king of England and did not have their own independence.

Upon realizing this need in 1776, they drew up the Declaration of Independence, which gave our country its freedom from England. American citizens will always be guided by this excerpt from it, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." this document was not a promise made by Americans to some dictator, but a promise made by Americans to Americans.

As the years sped rapidly by, it seemed as if the nation would be divided into two separate governments, and the War Between the States resulted; Lincoln and other great Americans of that time helped in preserving the union and in maintaining freedom and democracy. Lincoln, in his memorial address at Gettysburg, said, "The Government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth."

Such are the beliefs of the country that Americans have made. here, Americans lived, enjoying peace and liberty, and especially the four freedoms-- namely, freedom of worship, freedom of speech, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Each one went to a church of his own choice since he had freedom of worship; each one spoke of political affairs since he had freedom of speech; each one sat down at his table filled with nourishing foods since he had freedom from want; and each one could place his children in bed and listen to airplanes buzzing in the sky since he had freedom from fear. They were so happy living in this vast land of opportunity, knowing that they were American citizens.

Suddenly, in our lifetime, a part of the happiness was snatched from the Americans when Japanese made their treacherous attack on Pearl harbor, December 7,1941. In order to regain that happiness, there was the necessity of going to war. With our freedom and democracy, which really form the foundation of America, threatened and endangered, our boys, as proudly and nobly as our forefathers in colonial times, dedicated their lives to the noble cause of bringing a lasting peace and democracy to this world. How can they fail when they have such a heritage flowing in their very lifeblood? A young American held prisoner by a Japanese is physically confined, yes, but his soul is free and his American spirit soars back across the seas to his homeland where he may live, plan, work, and pray as he chooses; where every person is master of his fate; where life is protected by law; where children laugh and grow up in freedom, to reach for high places in government and industry according to their merit. The real prisoner is the Japanese, for he has never known individual freedom; he has to serve a master blindly, never having known the glorious privilege of living under laws that he, himself, has had a part in making.

This is the world that we and all other graduates of 1943 must enter. We realize our duty and the part we must play in winning the war, and in restoring freedom to our own country and to the countries now under the domination of our enemies. We know that it is a big task, but we will not quail before it. With the inspiration of the heritage of all true Americans, who give us courage from our own achievements, and who deepen our resolve to preserve our glorious tradition, with your kind guidance, parents and friends, and with the help of God, we will endeavor to accomplish it.__________________________Sammie Hinton ; May 24, 1943

A Mother's Love

My Mother will always be the smartest person I have ever known. I believe it is a tragedy that times did not permit her the opportunity for college education. With her brilliant mind, I can only imagine where an advanced degree would have taken her in life ...

Yet, as Mom told me, time and time again, "Mareer, I would not have had each and every one of you children!" And, she meant that with absolutely no regrets. It was as if she earned our college degrees along with us... the consummate, supportive Mother to each of us... in our own unique manner of needing her.

This song: "Our Town", sung by Iris DeMent and EmmyLou Harris is pretty new and Mom never heard it. However, it is as if she is singing it to me whenever I hear it... and, yes, it makes me cry. Mom gave up so much for her family.

From your high school words of wisdom to the words you left us in your journals, may your legacy forever live on, Mom. I will always love you, Maria

© Maria Jordan (revised July, 2014)

Iris DeMent & EmmyLou Harris: Our Town


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    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Ruby,

      Thanks for coming back to visit, you sweet lady. I was not aware of winning a "Gold Award" and thank you for letting me know...

      Hugs and love, Maria

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I came back to read again and to congratulate you on winning the Gold Award for this beautiful tribute to your Mother....Yea..

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Alastar,

      I had a feeling that you would especially enjoy this installment with Mom's Valedictorian speech. Your words about her make me beam with love and pride. Of course I have to agree with you 1000%.

      You are a fine gentleman and friend. Hugs and thanks, Nurse mar

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Oh Mar, so enjoyed reading your mom's school memories and Valedictorian speech. Miss Sammie was a brilliant person. You know what Nurse Mar, your mom may not of had the opportunity for college but she self taught herself superbly after high school and one can only admire and applaud her for that. Her love and commitment to her children was always the top joy and focus. What a woman!

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Sharon,

      I learned through Mom's example that one can make the best of every situation and sometimes, things even turn out better than we ever expect.

      I am so grateful that you followed this series. it truly means the world to me, my friend. Have a peaceful day. Love, Maria

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 

      8 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Aw Maria, your mom had been given such a wonderful, well deserved opportunity that she never got to take advantage of. That certainly says a lot about how things were back then. But I love that she "went to college" through her children. That is an awesome statement. I really love this series and appreciate you sharing so much about your beautiful mom.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Gail,

      Yes, you have a solid picture now of Mom. She truly lived the life of a virtuous woman from the time "she knew right from wrong". I know you can relate, as you had a Momma just like her, my dear friend.

      Thank you for reading along with me throughout this series. I know you will do your own writing on this subject when your heart guides your pen, in no rush whatsoever.

      Have a peaceful evening. Love, Maria

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Hyphen,

      Your comment humbles me and honors my dear Mother. You and sweet Gail are giving me inspiration to develop this idea (similar to Kylie's Blossoms), if for no one else, to give to each family member.

      As your writing is some of the best on HubPages, thank you so much for your ongoing support and feedback. Hugs, Maria

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      8 years ago from South Carolina

      Oh My, you saved the best for last. In this part we feel and see the wisdom, strength, courage and heart of your Mom before she got married and had a family.

      Even as a teen, she seemed so wise beyond her years, and focused on family values.

      This was a beautiful series and I agree with Hyphen, it would be wonderful to see it published in book form.

      Very inspirational. Voted up across the board except for funny.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      8 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      This series of tribute to your mother must be published in book form. The inspiration alone would make a lovely gift book. She sure was an incredible and brilliant lady. The love and joy the two of you shared is also inspiring. It makes me miss my own mom so much but sparks great memories also. I love that you have done this.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Thank you for making Miss Sammie smile today, linc. Thank you for every day you made her laugh. I know how much you meant to each other and how much you miss her too.

    • profile image

      linc sossage 

      8 years ago

      I consider myself blessed to have known your Mother. She was a perfect representative of her generation and the many, many sacrifices made for those she loved. Among her many talents, she was a financial wizard who managed a houseful of children on a modest income and paid, out of pocket, college tuition for her children to ensure that they had the opportunity her father did not permit. She went many years without a new, fashionable winter coat or any of the other niceties, in order that her children would be clothed. Her sacrifices were repaid many times over in later years by all of you. I always admired the clarity and simplicity with which she lived her life... and the remarkable bond she had with you, which lives to this day. She was never a "mother-in-law" to me. After my

      mother died, she became a mother to me and loved me as one of her own. I could tell her anything and trust her to keep my confidence. I came to rely on her wisdom and miss it more than ever. I am confident that as with you, she left me all the tools I need to live my life. She stood proudly on her own two feet and thumbed her nose at anyone that got in her way. Whenever I got dragged to church, she was a willing accomplice in many games of hangman, tic tac toe, and I spy. It came to the point that we were not allowed to sit next to each other-which didn't stop us from cutting up anyway!

      You have, through this series, done a beautiful, loving tribute to a remarkable woman and I know her modesty would cause her to blush with the accolades she so richly deserves. There is not one day that I do not miss her but I know she lives in these pages as well as my heart.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Thanks to both you and Alan, Nellieanna... I am planning a "Journey marathon" to finish up my remaining chapters. I am greatly looking forward and highly recommend this series to anyone who has not yet had the opportunity to check out.

      I wish that Mom could have answered the questions. In fact, I can hear her in so many of the wise responses that I am reading that it brings me great comfort.

      Have a peaceful day. Hugs, Maria

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Oh LORD,

      You are such a kind and sensitive man. I want you to know that Mom and I were/ are very transparent-- basically, what you see is what you get... Now that could be unnerving to some but for you, not so much!!

      You are "our kinda guy" and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and friendship. It means the world. Hugs, Maria

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA


      I had a dream last night... I was giving a very handsome man (in work-out gear) a tray of brownies and pop rocks... he was heading to Kansas or some such place and asking me if I had seen his brains anywhere...

      whoosh, that Chinese food, it kills me every time... anyway, you say the kindest things and thank you ever so much. Hugs, mar

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      Dear Maria - I'm sure we would have been sistas! I felt that kinship, just reading about her and seeing her pictures.

      I'm glad you're reading The Journey. I can't tell you what a wonderful experience it's been for me & for all the other 15 participants. It's Alan's, though - not mine. He just graciously asked me to kick it off and allowed me to assist in organizing it. I just read the last chapter - his. Like each of the others, it's a work in itself. Amazing. What each person brings to the Chapter he or she writes is an indescribable realness and beauty.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      8 years ago from New York

      Agreeing with so many! Her Valedictorian speech showed the scope of her talnet, even beofre she turned 16. Those were the years of war and frustrations. Mothers had to stay home and take care of businnes. You are a true representation or her legacy. Maria, I'm just trying to hold tears back, because..I wish we could've met you mom, and say hi, and make her smile. She know better by now. Thanks for sharing all these magnificent words from your mother. Looks like we met her already, by reading her impressive writing.

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 

      8 years ago from Texas

      So, you got your looks and your smarts from Miss Sammie. I should have known.

      I can see why she was so amazing. A wman ahead of her time, accepting her lot in life, and infusing her children with resilency. Such a loving and caring woman. Thank you for sharing.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Nellieanna,

      You are an amazing lady and you have long reminded me of Mom. I know she would have greatly enjoyed reading your beautiful poetry and you would have, no doubt, been the best of friends (like Sista and me!)

      Thank you so much fo stopping by with your insights. I am greatly (albeitly slowly) enjoying your fabulous series on the wisdom of aging called The Journey. Have a peaceful day. Hugs, Maria

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Rosemay,

      Yes, deep in Mom's heart, I believe she was deeply disappointed about not having the personal opportunity to attend college. However, she placed heart and soul into being the very best Mother she could to all of us... placing a great value on "our" education. I find that to be the most loving and admirable trait a Mom can have.

      I have apprecaited your ongoing support of this series and your friendship. have a lovely day. Hugs, Maria

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      I can really relate to your Mom, Mar. We were almost contemporaries - I was 11 when she graduated in 1943. But her awareness of Pearl Harbor and the War - very familiar to me, too. Those days changed everything and literally reset the destiny of families, the country - the world.

      I feel very privileged to meet your mother, m'dear. She sounds like a wonderful person.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      8 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Your Mom's valedictorian speech was powerful and inspiring Maria. It must have been frustrating for women back then who had to settle for less than their dreams because marriage was expected of them and they really had no choice.

      Imagine what your Mom could have achieved taking up those scholarships . But I have no doubts that the rewards of giving life to her children more than compensated for any lost education. She built her world around her family and generations to come will benefit for the wisdom she has shared.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Ruby,

      Thank you so much for this insightful comment. Yes, absolutely, this was a generational issue with our Mothers and they were (typically) most accepting of this mindset. It also makes me quite sad to think about in many ways, yet we have come a long way; you are so right.

      Have a peaceful evening and see you soon at the Cafe. Hugs, Maria

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      8 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Maria, I could actually feel the love between you and your Mother. How wonderful that is. Her valedictorian speech was beautiful. I know that back in those days a woman's education was not considered important. My Mother told me that marriage was more important than anything. ( This makes me sad ) A woman was supposed to have a child at least every two years. This infuriates me. We've come a long way. Thank you again for sharing your beautiful Mother with us..Cheers

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Sista,

      Thank you for your wonderful and proud comment, which makes me love you all the more as my sista. You have absolutely no reason to feel awkward because you had a supportive and loving upbringing. This is a feeling to be cherished and embraced with head held high as you share the wisdom you have learned with those in your life today, including me.

      Hope you are sleeping peacefully as I write this and TTYT. Hugs, Maria

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Thank you for your sweet remarks, Mike. I do indeed feel blessed to have had such a cherished relationship with Mom, truly like no other.

      Hope you are having a lovely evening. Hugs, mar

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      "I graduated on.... Having earned good grades, I was the class Valedictorian. I won an all expense paid tuition at the University of Georgia. I also won a scholarship for a 2-year business course in Athens. Naturally, none of it came to fruition..... Marriage was the chosen career..." ~~~~ This was the lot of all women, including the highly intelligent like your mother. How sad! On the other hand it was not sad. Since the emancipation of women, men don't have much of a reason to 'work and provide'; They started to play more; more of them became zeros on clods....

      A very impressive valedictorian speech!

      Maria, you have all the right in the world to burst with pride because your mother was such a remarkable woman. How privilege are we, the children of remarkable parents! When I boast about mine, I always have to fight an awkward sympathy for children who have nothing to boast about.

      I enjoy this series of yours with all my heart. Success stories always make me grateful because I am alive. Voted up and absolutely awesome.

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      8 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      What a full and beautiful life full of joy and friendship between you and your Mom. It is a story not shared by all. It is a story unique in the grandness of it.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Terrye-- I could not agree with you more! Thank you so much for your faithful following of this special series. It has meant everything to me. See you soon for my "laugh fix", funny lady! Love ya, Maria

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Dex, my Son-- Thank you so much for visiting and making me smile today. You are beautiful inside and out, with comments always reflecting the same. Hoping you have a fabulous week. Hugs and much love, Momma

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Car51-- A million thanks to you for your loyal following of this series. It means more to me than you know. Yes, Mom was a selfless and giving person, more than we may have realized growing up. I am proud to be able to share so much of her for family, friends and others to see through her eyes. Have a peaceful week. Love, mar

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear josh-- I am not at all surprised to learn that you were also your class Valedictorian. I am sure your speech was quite memorable as well, knowing you. I pray that this series gives you the impetus to record some of your special memories and pearls of wisdom for the future generations of your family as well. Thank you so much for your beautiful and compassionate remarks of this entire series. Hugs, Maria.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      La Thing-- Thank you for being the first to visit with your sweet comments about Mom's high school memories.

      Your support of this series has been remarkable and most appreciated. Hugs, Maria

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      8 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Mar: The world could use more moms like yours. She was all that a mother should aspire to be. :) VUM.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      8 years ago from United States

      Hi Momma! Your mother was absolutely brilliant. If she grew up in more recent times, she would certainly be a woman well-known on a national scale.

      But the fact is, she raised you and your siblings and shared all of her gifts and talents with you all. This is what mother's do.


    • Car51 profile image


      8 years ago

      What a tremendous lesson is self-sacrifice -- giving up an opportunity for college because of obedience to her parents and eventual loyalty to her children! Your Mom's patriotic World War II valedictory speech is timeless -- very meaningful in this era of seemingly never-ending war. She was a brilliant woman, who lives on in her children and grandchildren.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania


      That speech your mother gave is simply amazing, powerful and brilliant. I was actually valedictorian of my high school, but my class was very small. This speech blows mine out of the water! I loved it so much. Thanks for this series, because it inspires me to appreciate what I have and marvel in it! You truly are a compassionate woman, because I can see it in all of your work. So, thanks again Maria!

    • LaThing profile image


      8 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Maria, this is beautiful! Your mother's valedictorian speech is so powerful!! These memories are such treasure ...... Voting up and beautiful!


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