Today I begin my month of Gratitude Posts, which I have been doing for the past few years. There will be one each day in November, so if they get old to you, just scroll on by.
Gratitude Day #1
Today I am grateful for my mom, Ida Stevens Clemens. It's appropriate to begin with her, for today is her birthday! If she were alive, she would be 104 years old!
She was born in the days of buckboards and mules, and lived long enough to see men walk on the moon.
She was a Kentucky hillwoman, and a force to be reckoned with. The oldest of eight children, she only had one sister - the youngest - who only lived three years. She knew how to deal with boys, and taught me that I didn't have to be stronger than them -- just louder.
She taught me how to shoot, and I spent hours out behind the tobacco barn in Kentucky practicing until I met the targets she set up for me.
She taught me how to survive in the woods if I was ever lost, which included the things I could forage and the things I needed to stay away from. Little did I know how her advice would come in handy when I met up with a copperhead. (Ask me about it sometime.)
She married my dad and raised three girls in the hills of Kentucky and the coal camps of West Virginia. During WWII, she was on her own when dad was drafted and sent to Pearl Harbor.
It would be when those girls were 16, 19, and 21 that she would give birth to another little girl - me. She was in her forties, and the picture on the bridge was taken four days before I was born.
I once asked her if she ever got depressed. She looked at me with an incredulous look on her face, and I received a lecture that lasted about 2 1/2 days. I never asked again.
There are times when I am whining when I can just see her in my mind's eye giving me "the look". Then, I straighten right up and become the daughter she expected me to be.
I miss her. I sure could use her on some days. She died in 1984, the year my youngest child was born.
It is an honor to be called her daughter, for she taught me things the world teaches the opposite of. She turned me into a "don't mess with me" person, while still remaining a lady.
I am grateful that I was born to such a woman, who raised me when she was "old". I know it couldn't have been easy.
But, she did it.
Love you, dear mom...happy heavenly birthday!!!