to have known our mothers
|Father and daughter at Turner Falls 1915|
I'm fascinated with the lives of my family because they seemed so adventurous and willing to take huge risk, until the crash of the stock market. As a child of a parent who lived through the depression I know how sadly those times impacted their young lives.
I see my mother around the age of three with her father visiting Turner Falls, a view I've returned to many a times in my travels. I go to enjoy the vistas, the spring flowers, the cactus, the water falls, but mostly I think I go there to stand where my mother might have stood as a child, and wondered. What did she see? What did she feel?
|Helen, ...., brother Tom|
My mother, Helen, and her brother and sister, attended Sunnyside school and East High School in Wichita. One time when we visited grandmother Pearl in the home on Oakland, mother walked me through the neighborhood and told me names of all of the children who used to live in those homes on Chautauqua street, English st., and Waterman. She shared stories of playing with friends in the College Hill Park area, of going to movies, and to Dockam's Drug Store. She became an accomplished ice skater during her childhood and often drove her daddy's car up and down Douglas Avenue.
Perhaps her most cherished memories grew in the garden where her dad raised the vegetables. She'd sit on the steps out back while we played and tell about the times she would help her daddy in the garden; digging, planting, and pulling weeds, then picking the fresh vegetables.
I think her heart was searching for her dad who died, a year before his first grandchild, Letty Stapp, was born. Maybe, just maybe, I know more about how she felt on those trips to her old home in Wichita because today and for so many days since 1989 I search for my mother.
*This year on Mother's Day I spent the afternoon with my
daughter, Katy, laughing and creating memories of mother and daughter times. During the afternoon while the two of us painted, my mother found me through our open hearts, and I smiled but tears flowed gently down my cheeks. I love you Mother today and everyday.
My wish and my prayer for all of you who read this story, is that you find the love you are searching for.