The strongest woman I know


This is my mom, Helen. She usually turns her head or makes a face if someone points a camera at her - so I'm very happy she cooperated for me, at least for one shot!

Mom truly is the strongest woman that I know. My dad was a pipeliner and traveled in his work. He would be gone weeks, sometimes months, so she raised 3 girls practically on her own. When Dad was home he was a bit of a hell-raiser, so he wasn't the easiest man in the world to be married to, but she loved him fiercely.

As a girl, Mom was the middle child in a family of 8 children. Her family was VERY poor, living in the Depression. She had to quit school at a young age to go to work, then was married at 16, a mother at 17 and again at 19 (and again at 31 - yes, I was a BIG surprise!). Mom actually went back and got her GED at age 49, the year I was a Senior in high school, so she and I "graduated" together!

My dad became ill with diabetes and kidney disease in 1987. He was disabled and could no longer work, and was fighting with the Social Security Administration to receive disability (a process that takes FOREVER!!!) so Mom worked cleaning houses to support them. After they finally began receiving his disability income, Dad had to go on dialysis, so for 5 years, they got up at 3:30 a.m. 3 days a week and Mom drove him to his treatment.

After Dad died, Mom still needed someone to "care" for, so she takes care of all of us now! I don't know what we would do without her - she is a fabulous grandmother, and a great-grandmother. She's made treats for school, gone to ballgames, sewed on buttons, cooked Sunday dinner, attended school plays, and countless other things! My kids, and all of her grandchildren adore her - in fact, my big, tough, 16 year old son begs me at least once a week to stay overnight at her house. She's the best! We love you, Mom!

13 comments:

Jess said...

She is STUNNING. WOW. I can see the depth in her eyes of a hardworking life. What an amazing woman... and what a beautiful tribute you gave her in your words. They brought tears to my eyes. I need to go call my mom now! :)

pat said...

Wow--what an amazing life, and her experience and character shows in her face. Stunning portrait, both the shot and your tribute.

Mandy said...

I am tearing up...but this is an amazing portrait...I would get it printed. And your words about your mother are just stunning. Really great.

mel said...

what an amazing photo - I love it! Also love your journaling about her life, she sounds like an amazing woman. Thanks so much for sharing!

Becky said...

What a beautiful portrait and a touching tribute to your mom! I have a hard time getting my mom in front of the camera too--I keep trying to convince her though.

Kim said...

The opportunities we have compared to those who went before us. Sometimes I complain that I don't get some 'me time,' I wonder if our mothers generation even thought of 'me time'. Sorry to go on...that beautiful photo just got me going. I'm off to call my mom.

Debbi said...

Beautiful picture! your writing is very touching!

LuckyMommy's Photography Blog said...

You are so blessed to have such an amazing woman for your mother. You took a very beautiful portrait of her, you can see the love and kindness in her eyes, it is definately visible how much she cares. I loved reading your tribute!

Angela2932 said...

What a wonderful, and beautiful, woman! This is such a wonderful testament to her character, and love. You should so have this photo of her framed! (and she should be a model!)

Bence said...

I have known you almost all my life and never knew all that about your mom. That was a beautiful entry. I hope you really realize how lucky you are to have had this time with your mother. I did not have the same privilege.

Nancy said...

Oh I just love your MOM. Your story so touched my heart and i just want to give her a big hug for being there for everyone. What touched me the most was that your 16 yr. old son still adored her so that he still wanted to go spend his special time with her! Such a sweet story and I love the photo.

Sandy S said...

Geez, Lori...you got my tears rolling! What a great tribute to your wonderful mom. You are blessed to have her, but she is doubly blessed to have you as her daughter and friend. The photo is amazing-

shelby said...

Meemaw-- I love that lady. She's definitely touched more than just the immediate family's lives. She is an amazing woman, hands down.

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