Being the youngest of seven, my mother had a lot of experience rearing children (alone) by the time I came along. She also had help from my two oldest sisters who were 16 and 18. The story is they had been preparing for a girl and even had my name picked out: Dorothy May. Then fourth boy in a row joined the family. I kept the same initials that had been crocheted onto baby garments DM (Dennis Mark).

A third sister died from a fall when she was only seven, before I was born.

Dad passed away when I was barely a toddler and Mother never remarried, although she had several suitors. She had never worked outside the house. Neither did she know how to drive. Learning to drive was sometimes a harrowing experience for us as passengers. Luckily the turquois and white ’55 Chevy was an automatic and the two grown sisters could take us places.

We did not have much growing up but we had enough. We had a good, strong farm family that played outside until dark each day. We ate our meals together around a table and did not grumble.

Our TV, like most, picked up three Nashville stations and our phone was an 8-party line and hung on the wall with a long cord.

Our Mother was not one to complain although we knew she was a tireless worker. I wish that I could have one more of those talks we had while breaking beans, taking husks off the corn and shelling peas. She’s been gone since Sept., 1982.

She encouraged me to get an education and make something of myself, to not date anyone that I would not like to someday be married to and to go to church. She sang gospel songs while working. She read her bible.

I was fortunate enough to find a wife that was a lot like her, that was brought up in the church of Christ and who shared my picture of what our family should look like.

Lisa is a mother of four and grandmother of six with one more on the way. Our family is growing and I know that my Mother would be proud of them all.

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9.

Life is better with Christian parents and I consider myself most fortunate.

Life is also better with a newspaper. Get yours today!

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