I've been challenged to write about a woman I immediately think of who brought/brings about change.
That woman is my mother, Madge Geraldine McCathern Anderson.
Her first historical record is the census of 1930. I'm guessing there was some question about where she was born. The record says her place of birth was Oklahoma, in the state of New Mexico, in Curry County, in the city of Boney. The problem? Boney is a hill in New Mexico in Curry County. She was born November 10 of 1928, the same day as the coronation of Emperor Hirohito of Japan and the same year penicillin was discovered.
My mother grew up during the years of the Great Depression. A woman full of dreams, living in a world blowing away. I'm not about to tell her entire life story here - that is her story to tell. Yes, she is still living, in our hometown of Amarillo.
Growing up, I thought of her as most children think of their parents - old, out of touch, incapable of understanding what it is to be young, have dreams and hopes. I was so very wrong.
The mama I had growing up did her very best to create an atmosphere of learning, music and excellence. I so misunderstood her. Too often I felt unappreciated. But she is the one who made sure the music lessons happened, and the trips to camp, and the supplies for sports and school, and dresses for special events. She is the one who created the wonderful dinner for the Father/Daughter event for Camp Fire Girls.
She is a daughter who watched both parents die: her father from bone cancer, and her mother from a failure to recover after a fall in the yard.
She is a sister who has watched all of her brothers and sister die - except one lone brother who lives in the Northwest most of the year.
She is a mother of 4 - with one son living in the Northwest, one son buried in Amarillo, one daughter near to her, and one daughter living 500 miles away. That would be me.
She is a wife who buried her dear husband 20 years ago this September.
She is a grandmother and great-grandmother who rarely sees her little jewels.
She left home early to pursue a life in the city, launching out on her own to follow her dreams. I wish I could have known that sparkling, vibrant 18 year old woman. All her life she had lived on dirt farms, working her fingers to the bone, almost literally. She was a horse lover. A Writer. A Singer. A Hoper. A Dreamer. Here she was, taking a chance; moving away from all that was familiar. What an incredible woman! I like to think that I got my sense of adventure and hope from her.
She taught us all to want more than we had and to work to get it.
The year she was born the first air-conditioned office opened in San Antonio. She braved the horrendous walls of cloud born by the merciless winds of the Dust Bowl. Scotch Tape was first marketed by 3-M. Benito Musollini abolished the right to choose a leader. Amos and Andy debuted on the radio. RCA and GE installed three test television sets in homes in Schenectady, New York with a 1.5 square inch picture. (Hmmm, the first smart phone?)
She has witnessed the world at war over and over and over again.
Is my mom a world-changing, history maker? Probably not to the world, but she is to me. The things she has seen, and endured, and triumphed over are incredible. I love her more every day.
Often these days she talks about wanting to go to be with Jesus. What will I do when He calls her home? I can't imagine life without her.
As my life has turned up on itself in the last years with the illness of my husband, my mom has become my friend. She understands my fears and sorrows in ways no one else does. As I work to follow my dreams, she is my advocate and biggest supporter. She might not understand Google, GoDaddy and Facebook, but she cheers me on.
Thank you for changing my world, Mama.
Do you have a story about your mama? I'd love for you to share it here. And, if she's still living, give her a call. She is waiting for your call.