Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother’s Day!

I’m posting my blog a day early to honor all mothers, but especially as a tribute to mine. She was one in a million according to my mind. Born Katherine Alice Walker, she was a frail child and my grandparents never expected her to live a long life.

Evidence of that turned up when my family did a search for unclaimed money last year. We found an insurance policy on our mother’s life bought by grandma and grandpa when mom was eleven years old. Fortunately, she did live, or I wouldn’t be here to write about her life.

Always delicate as an English rose, Mom was strong-minded. An example of this is when the doctor said my brother could have surgery to correct his crossed eyes (50-50 chance of keeping his sight or losing it altogether), or go blind in a couple more years. She elected to have the surgery believing it would save his eyesight, and it did. This is one instance of her strengths out of many.

One of Mom’s friends referred to her as a banty hen, and it was a very apt description of her. She always championed the underdog, and woe to those who would threaten her family or friends in any way.

My mother was a great believer in taking care of the children, and I like to think of her in heaven as playing with the little ones and dancing with the angels. I forgot to tell you she loved to dance the jitterbug, and she was a huge music lover.

My mother was great at showing us how to live our lives, but in the end there was no finer person to teach us how to die. Her strength and bravery will stay with me until the day I face death. I can only hope I’m able to live such a decent life and have the strength to keep moving on to the end as she did.

I still miss you, Mom.

I hope all of you will share comments about your mother’s here. Have a great day.

Until next week,


KT bishop said...

A great tribute! I have mixed feelings about this day. One, the prospect of going single again leave me no feelings about the day. Two, my mother gave me up when I was 22 months. My grandma built me into a tough-minded person. Even as I go through hard times, she brought me through.

Sandy said...

K.T., remember your grandmother on Mother's Day, she's the one who mothered you.

Thank you for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sandy.

My mother was amazing. She did things for me that most mother's dread and she never stopped loving me.

I love her for everything she's done for me and for my son when we lived at home. I love her for everything in general.

Liena Ferror

Sandy said...


Your mother sounds wonderful.

Thank you for stopping by and telling us about her.


J Hali said...

My Mom gave me wings. She called me her 'butterfly' because I'd up and move somewhere in a minute. She never traveled much because of the large family. So I'd call her and regale her with my treks. I hope today she's using her 'wings' and visiting every place she ever dreamed of.

Sandy, you brought tears to my eyes darnit!

Anonymous said...

My mother was amazing. She was curious, an obsessive reader, a skilled teacher. Service came second nature to her -- to us, her three daughters, to the extended family, to anyone she saw in need. I remember her telling me sadly (she was 88 at the time) that she just couldn't take meals to families that needed them any more. She was on the fifth floor of her senior apartment house, she had to cross the ground floor after she went down in the elevator, she had to cross the parking lot to the parking structure and then go down to the basement level where the parking places were for the apartment dwellers, and she simply couldn't keep the food hot.

That was my mother. She had faith that was a rock in her life, she loved without measuring -- she adored my father so much that she left Utah and everything that was familiar to live with him in Hawaii and stayed there through Pearl Harbor and the Second World War and fit into his family -- who'd come to Hawaii from Holland -- so well that my grandfather would start talking Dutch to her and halfway through stop himself and say, "Ach, I'm sorry. I forgot again." And repeat it in English.

She loved nice clothes and fussed about her hair -- it drove her crazy that it was thinning, and she used to smile at us and say that at least her daughters got Duker hair which was greatly superior to what we might have inherited from her. She called herself vain, but she was pretty, and stayed that way until the very end.

She's been gone 9 years, and I still find myself turning to tell her something, to share a joke, to ask what she thinks of whatever I'm considering. I will miss her to the day I die, and when I step across the great divide, leaving behind a good, bad, or indifferent record, she'll be there to hug me and figure out what we do next.


Sandy said...


As soon as I started working for TWA, I took my mother to the places she wanted to go. It was always great fun with her. Smile. The memories make me smile.

I'm sorry I made you cry, but aren't the memories great?

Sandy said...


How lovely, and you express your love for your mom so well. Wish, I was half as good as you at expressing my feelings in print.

Thanks for coming by.

Marianne Stephens said...

Beautiful tribute to your mother!
My mother is now the matriarch of her side of our family, and keeps in touch with nieces, nephews, their children, her grandchildren, etc. I know everything that goes on and it's great to keep in touch with family!

Deb Maher said...

What a lovely tribute, Sandy! There are many mother figures in our lives who deserve appreciation on this day. It's a day to remember them all.

Carol Ericson said...

Beautiful tribute to your mother, Sandy. Happy Mother's Day to all the great moms out there!

Sandy said...

Thanks, Marianne.

We don't have a matriarch or a patriarch in our family any more. It's so sad. My sister probably is the closest to being a matriarch, but even she can't keep in touch with everyone when they are so spread out.

It is great to know everything that goes on with family.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sandy said...

Deb, you're so right. We need to remember them all.

Thanks for coming by.

Sandy said...


Thank you for coming by. I know you had a special mother, too.

StubbyJo said...

I enjoyed your memories of Grandma. There are so many good ones to choose from. I can still remember just how far I need to squat down to hug her.
Love you,

Sandy said...


LOL You threw me with the name StubbyJo. Yes, there are many good memories of your grandma to choose from. For instance, her playing bad minton with your mom, me and the neighbor kids in the back yard, and so many more.

She was an inspiration to everyone who came in contact with her.

Love you,
Aunt Sandy

Chiron said...

Hi Sandy,

Lovely tribute to your mom. Coincidentally, after catching pneumonia at an early age, my mom too was supposed to die young. The doctor thought she wouldn't live past the age of 12.

She lived longer than any of her siblings. I still miss her.

Thanks for sharing.

Chiron O'Keefe

Sandy said...


Isn't it funny that the weakest ones have the strongest will to live?

Thank you for your comment.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Sandy!

What a lovely post.

We don't actually have mother's day in England on the same day. Strangely father's day is the same though.

Glad to find your blogger home. Lovely speaking to you!

Sandy said...


Thanks for stopping by. Interesting to learn about the difference in cultures.

Linda LaRoque said...

Lovely tribute, Sandy. I love the banty hen term. Was she also small?

Sandy said...


Yes, she was small. I used the banty hen term in the eulogy I gave at her funeral. Everyone gasped, and then giggled when I said it.

Thanks for coming by, Linda.