But rather than dwell on the bad, I would like to share a little about my parents. Both of my parents came from very, very poor families and even though they grew up in the same small town, they didn't really know each other until they were young adults. My Daddy had just returned from serving in the Pacific during WWII and my Mom was a Senior in High School. They met at a little diner and I think it must have been love at first sight because they never looked back. They were married a year later during a very small church service, no money for a fancy wedding dress or big reception.
Daddy was attending college on the GI bill and worked when not in class and Mom also worked to help support them. They lived above the theater in a small apartment in the sweetest little college town. Ironically, my youngest daughter now lives in the same apartment! Daddy finished his undergrad program and went on to Law school. By the time he graduated from law school, Mom was expecting my oldest sister. Two more babies would follow in the next two years and the little family was finally getting settled.
My Daddy was such a kind, generous man, nothing like the bad rap most attorneys get these days. He was more concerned with helping people than he was making money. They never owned a brand new car and they never lived in a big fancy house. Many of his clients were farmers or blue collar workers, if Daddy knew they couldn't pay, he just never sent them a bill. He had one client that sold rubber bands for a living and that's how he paid my dad, with rubber bands! When we cleaned out his office, we found boxes and boxes of those rubber bands and this client must have been dead for twenty years.
Both of my parents felt deeply about giving back to the community, Mom volunteered with our Brownie troops and the Child Conservation League and later as a Gray Lady at the hospital. Daddy devoted countless hours to the VFW, American Legion and even taught Sunday School to a group of Elderly ladies. But most of all they had a deep devotion to their family and each other. My parents made every Holiday so special. My mom decorated the house for every holiday but Christmas was the best! Mom had to make sure everyone had the same number of gifts under the tree at Christmas and she and daddy would spend many, many nights the weeks prior to Christmas making peanut brittle, caramels, popcorn balls and more cookies than I can remember, which they always gave away. My mom made many of our clothes and I can remember the matching Christmas jammies she made for us.
Now in case you are thinking I had this perfect, idyllic life growing up, think again! We had our problems like every other family but I think the values my parents instilled in us, are what kept us strong and were the basis for so many good memories. They adored my girls and I think this is what saddens me the most, that they weren't here to see my girls grow up.
Mom and Dad with my girls, 1995
We love you Mom and Dad, you are forever in our hearts! XXOO
This is the last professional picture taken of my parents
and was taken at my Sister's wedding
about 5 years before they passed away.
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