There is over fifty of us now. My mother says she has the best family in the world. I think I have had the best parents in the world.
Dad died 25 years ago and yet, I feel like his influence is with me every day. We are so fortunate to have mom. She is a loving and kind person and is interested in all of our lives. She talks on the phone with those of us who are away and makes us all laugh with her sense of humour. She has regular visits with the family who still live in Newfoundland, and we hear all about her visits with the little ones. My brother brings his dog Zoe to see her as well, and we hear all of those antics too.
Mom has lived with pain for as long as I can remember. She has spinal stenosis in various parts of her back and arthritis in most of her body. She complains as all of us do, but she is pleasant and happy despite her pain. I can imagine having 11 pregnancies and deliveries would be hard on a body!
When we were children she baked bread every day of our lives. When we woke in the morning, I remember watching the dough rising as we ate breakfast. At lunch time is was time to punch it down so it could rise again. When we walked home from school at the end of the day, we knew the dough we saw in the morning would be beautiful fresh bread. As we opened the door to our house we were always met with what I called the smell of home. The bread was cooling on the counter. We were always given a warm piece of bread, dripping with butter and a choice of peanut butter or molasses.
I don't know how Mom did it. She was responsible for feeding 13 people three times a day. Sometimes in our conversations now she will reminisce about meals she made back then. She remembers the simple, cheaper things like fried potatoes, baked beans and homemade soup. We never had fancy foods but there was always a home cooked meal. If we didn't like it (I hated to eat game), we got homemade bread with peanut butter.
When I think back to those days they seem simpler in a lot of ways, but they sure weren't for a woman with 11 children.
Thank you Mom for all you did for all of us. I love you. I hope you have a pain free Mother's Day! xoxo