- Posted May 8, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What makes your Mother's Day special?
Will Always Be Special
When you find out how special your mother was from so many people you can't but be amazed and thankful for the kind of woman she was. Mom, fresh out of college (Illinois Wesleyan) with her music teaching degree landed a job in the small town of LeRoy, Illinois at the Eugene Field Grade School. in 1946. She caught the eye of a young guy several years out of the service and WWII who worked at his father's locker plant (butcher shop and freezer for the local cattle farms). They married in 1949 and moved to the families estate farm from the 1800's. She was the typical farm wife, raising kids (5 in all), driving tractors and grain trucks but still found time to give music lessons, run the house, lead choir practice, and play organ for Sunday church, weddings and funerals. Mom had a unique music talent, rarely playing from sheet music except when she re-wrote to fit the occasion. Mom never said no when someone needed help with music transposed or re-written to suit them or needed help rehearsing for church or vocalist competition.Even leading the community band to play for the yearly ice cream social in the park was no big deal. She gave freely of her talent (well except for the $2 piano lessons on the farm back in the 60's and 70's) and was known through out the community. All of us kids grew up, made it through college partly thanks to her and went on to our own lives but we never forgot how our lives were filled with music. Dad passed in 2011 after a 6 year battle with cancer with mom by his side. Mom passed almost a year to the day of dad in November of 2012. She was taken quickly by a stroke. She enjoyed that year being on her own and playing music at full volume without dad kidding her. The neighbors didnt mind hearing the church music, big band, Sousa or anything else seeping from the house. She never mourned or pined away because dad had passed, she knew he was free of pain. At the funeral the church was packed with many who were her former and current students. Many of them had gone into music education or performance or their kids or grandkids had. At a later memorial at her church many came forward telling of how mom affected their life. The church band played for the service. What us kids expected was the usual small church band of amateur musicians who played as best they could but with that slight off tuned-ness. What we witnessed was a polished church orchestra with the purist of sounds. Many of them admitted they were afraid to pick up instruments 40 years after high school band but did so because of mom's musical influence. So she was special to her family, her community and her church and we will always remember that. She touched alot of lives through music and while Mother's Day will be difficult it will be special because of how mom lived.