Happy Mother’s Day!   Today’s guest blogger is.. MY MOM!  (Round of applause!)
I grew up in a quaint town in Baltimore County during the fifties and sixties. Since I am the youngest of fourteen children, there is no need to tell you, but YES, I am Catholic. Nuns came for tea and occassionally a Priest would dine with us on Sunday evening.

Since I was the youngest, it was quite lucrative for me to find good hiding places. A place where I was not disturbed by older siblings. EGADS, they drove me nuts!! It was amazing how creative I could be. My favorite place was under the stairs. Behind the coats was the perfect place where I could stowaway a lamp, reading book, pillow and my pencil with sketch pad.   Ahh, the absolute serenity there, a place to call my own. (until the others dragged me out for their turn!!)

I was such a dreamer while growing up. I always wanted to star and sing in a Broadway musical. Long ago, in a land faraway, I use to have quite a voice. I hid this, from family and friends, afraid of criticism and being shy about my talents. I once sang a song solo for a Christmas pageant in the second grade. Later, while starting to pursue the stage locally, I saw a side of the theater life that I did not like. The way entertainers lived was so foreign to me, I stopped right then and there.  I chose to walk away, never regretting the decision. Many, many years later, a five month bout of a serious illness with constant coughing trashed my vocal cords. But, as they always say, “When God closes a door, he opens a window”, and I picked up my pencil and paint, back to creating my artwork, I was sketching again!! Maybe someday, when I get enough of a portfolio together, I will be discovered!

College was not an option, work immediately after high school graduation was a must. My parents believed in what they called self-teaching. Pick up a book from the library and learn. That was it, plain and simple they would say and boy did I!!! I was an avid reader till my eyes bulged out!!

I married my “best friend” and we raised four children. It was hard. I stayed home. No dishwasher, that is what those little darling’s hands were for. I dried dishes when I was six and so could they.  No microwave. Imagine that!! We made it!! We lived tight, but comfortable enough. I always looked at it this way, they lived better than we did while growing up!  They rode a school bus, lucky them. And, yes I did walk a full mile to school everyday, but I did have shoes. HA. The children are all grown and we were able to retire in our fifties. Thank God we were so frugal!

Sometimes I would just like to pack our bags, grab my “best friend” and just hit the road for about three months!! Imagine driving to all the little towns and big cities, meeting new people and making new friends along the way. What a beautiful, free country.

When I look back on my life, I am quite amazed at all that I have experienced, but the truly most profound thing that happened was the day my heart stopped. One day I was driving my car through Frederick City and then suddenly I was in the presence of someone, a “Man”, so loving, so divine. I could not fathom how anyone could be worthy enough to be with him, let alone me.  No words have ever been created to describe how humbling it was. I heard him but, no words were needed. Why? I do not know.  I knew that I was not to be there. I knew that I was to tell many, including myself, that we are not doing enough to help each other. We are to sacrifice more to others.

My heart started up again on it’s own. I saw a policeman, an ambulance, and many others surrounding me. I later received a pacemaker.

There is one thing I wish to pass onto others, to my children and yours, we need to do more. Don’t look for the “big fixes”…..remember, one person each day doing one more thing to help another.