@ Are Children Worth the Cost? “TRULY!” I love this article! Thank you very much. Between my own two children, 16 and 40 years old, the ‘rewards’ are truly blessed! I’d like to share another story (of my mother) that fits here perfectly, with yours, truly!:
“A Gift to Her by God”
She woke up early morning before the dawn of light, and started cooking a large pot of oatmeal, while she put a fresh stick of butter on the table to soften for spreading on our toast. In- between warming a bottle of milk for the baby she managed to put on a pot of coffee, in hope that she’d sip it while checking our school bags for sharpened pencils, copybooks, milk money, and nickels for recess. She gently held the baby to her chest with one arm while helping the younger ones button their shirts, or tying their shoes, or pulling up their pants after they left the bathroom. She walked us to the front door with the baby still in her arms, and toddlers hanging on the hem of her house dress, while she checked the outside weather and told us to put on a sweater or jacket and waved good-bye.
She began washing the breakfast dishes, and put clothing in the washing machine that usually ran all hours until we came home at lunchtime. We always had sandwiches that were ready made with fresh bread, ham, cheese, and a tall glass of milk, and a banana to eat on the way back to school. We were excited to get home after the school day ended to have a snack of homemade cake and play outside or watch cartoons on TV. We didn’t have a lot of chores after school because she always made sure that our playing outside in the fresh air took priority towards our well being of physical exercise.
The greatest joy shown on her face through watching us children laugh and play while she prepared dinner. We could always depend on fresh meat (that most children like) as; chicken, hamburger, or pork chops, with mashed potatoes, gravy, corn or green beans. We were never forced to eat what our taste buds hadn’t yet developed to acquire. She laughed at each and every one of our silly stories at the dinner table while spoon feeding one of the toddlers in a high chair, or heating up some warm milk for the hungry crying baby. The only thing that she asked of us is that we help take over the spoon feeding for the toddlers (when we were finished eating ourselves), or watch over them in the playpen while she did the dinner dishes and cleaned up the messes that were left behind.
She taught us virtues, morals, and the value of love, laughter, and honesty, with kindness. A day never went by that didn’t include her conversations with God that she’d share with us. She’s done this her whole life, ever since the first day she got married at sixteen years old and had a child every year after.
She never hollered, used profanity, wore make-up, or owned any clothing other than housedresses. We never heard her complain, but, only voice the joy and satisfaction over preparing an abundant meal, or the fragrance of freshly laundered clothes and a sparkling clean house.
She hardly asked for outside help, even from my father. Her greatest challenge in life was keeping her marriage vowels blessed with the demands of a dominant husband. She understood the ‘misgivings’ of the old school’s philosophy that were put upon a man’s success, of enabling him power over the whole family, that only brought compassion towards him more. She miraculously was able to overcome all the odds that were against her by keeping her focus on the wellness and joys of the family through the simplicity of meekness and love. She put everyone’s needs before her own as though they were treasures and counted her blessings to serve.
She was certainly different from all the rest because she had given up her life - A sacred duty of responsibility for ‘seventeen’ children that she nurtured practically on her own. She completely turned around what could have been a devastating situation of lack, (perhaps for the majority of families), to one of the most loving families a child is proud to belong. She did this by staying on the same (age) level of communication with each and every child that was under her care. With what little education from elementary school that she had; she certainly found the internal teacher that is implanted within that shown her way through faith, hope, and love. (Which in my eyes have been made by God.)
Her health started to fail when her youngest child was six years old. The strength in her legs weakened, causing pain, and she developed partial blindness from Diabetes. I can still hear her whispers of prayers and envision her kneeling before the Crucifix ‘pleading’ for ten more years of good health to continue her promise of taking care of the children. Her passion of love and ‘joy’ for the children was her greatest power of strength and hope in life that her health miraculously returned until she met God face to face ten years after.