Abode {W}

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My mother

Today is my mother's 78th birthday. I have always, after hearing her story, marveled at her. I am amazed that she lived through her childhood, and in awe of her cheerful, forgiving spirit. My mother was born to missionary parents in China. The little village where my grandparents lived was high up in the mountains, a three day journey by buggy to the city where my mother was born. When she was two weeks old, her parents took her home from the hospital the same way-by buggy. On the second day of their journey, they were robbed by Chinese bandits who held a gun to my little two week old mother's head and demanded my grandparent's watches and wedding bands. She routinely found scorpions in her bed and shoes, was almost bitten by a green mamba in India, found a live hand grenade and picked it up, and when she was walking to a swimming pool with her brother (in Calcutta after the war), walked right past a cobra which was coiled and ready to strike.  I am truly amazed she is alive. But the most amazing thing about my mother is the fact that after being held as a little girl in a concentration camp for 5 years, she has totally forgiven her captors and bears no ill will for her experience. She was sent to a boarding school for missionary's children at the age of 6, and just a few months later, the Japanese invaded their school, moved them out, and after holding them in a camp for a few weeks, loaded them in trains and hauled them in to the mountains where they spent the next five years. In 1961, she moved to Japan to teach in a school for missionary children, and still, to this day, has a real love for Japan and the Japanese people. My mother has a great sense of fun. I often came home from school to find she had made my bed, only to discover at bedtime that it has been short-sheeted and I could not get in to bed! She would rig cups of water over doorways so that they would fall on us when we opened the doors, put plastic wrap in between the toilet bowl and the seat, and put salt in our coffee if we did not guard it carefully. She wrote me every week when I was in college, even though I was only 40 miles away. I don't often give flowery speeches about the ones I love, or write stirring, emotional tributes, or write love letters. I don't give those cards with gushing prose in them, just a blank card will suffice, thank you! However, let it be known far and wide that my mother is a wonderful person, an excellent mother, and a pleasure to be around. I love her dearly, and want to be just like her when I grow up. Although, I have taken a solemn pledge that I will never, ever make my family tuna noodle casserole with crushed chips on top for dinner. Other than that, she is worthy of emulating in every way!

1 comment:

  1. Happiest of birthday's to your mom! Wow, what a life story! Have you ever thought to put her story into a book? I would love to read it if you ever do.