Monday, November 24, 2014

My Mother - Memories

Wilma, Love and Words

Having three brothers, my mother and I were special pals in contrast to the four male members of the household; thicker than thieves we were.  After almost eleven years since her passing, I still want to pick up the phone to call her about some event in the family.  Wilma taught me so many things by just being in her presence, but I do have some specifics.

The first lessons I would share are her love and acceptance of all people.  Mother and my daddy were married for sixty-one years in addition to the six years they dated.  She loved him unconditionally.  But she also always looked for the best in every person.  Even when there were obvious flaws in someone she knew, she could look beyond them to find the good in that person.  Dogs were never allowed in the house, and she seldom went out among the chickens or the cows we raised.  She was very much a lady and deemed her place to be in the home cooking, cleaning, and taking care of us.

The second very important lesson is her love of reading.  She read the newspaper thoroughly and always had a book from the library to read as well.  We had books from fairy tales to those big encyclopedias around the house. This was long before any digital information was available.  It was always a bit amusing that she always thought anything in print had to be true.  And maybe it was all factual many years ago.  For as long as I can remember, she would say, “I should write a book.”  She had so many stories to tell about growing up on the farm during the depression, her courtship with my dad, and her life on the farm.  Over the years I heard many of these stories; funny adventures with neighbor kids, the doctor who traveled to the farms to deliver babies, cold winter trips to the school and town with the horse and buggy, and many local celebrations.  As the years went by and I became an adult, I would encourage her to write some of these down.  I bought her a journal.  Then I tried a tape recorder.  But she never followed through.

I retired from my full-time corporate job to go into business for myself in accounting when Mother was 80.  After buying a new computer, the old one made a trip to her home, so we could write her story. There was a book called “To My Children’s Children” with many questions to stimulate memory that helped us with some of our thought process.  After breakfast with my parents, Mother and I would retire to the computer, while my dad did the dishes. She would talk while I typed.  At some point we decided to include recipes from family and friends.  After ten months of writing we published her book as “Memoirs and Recipes of Wilma Weiland Diekhoff”. With the ISBN number we arranged for her to have a book signing at Barnes and Noble, and I now have a treasure of a picture of Wilma by her book signing table at the store in Peoria.  We sold nearly seven hundred copies of the book, mostly by talking about our adventure to a number of ladies’ groups.  Mother would speak shyly about her stories and quote specifics about the book, and I would talk about the importance and methodology of preserving family history. The book is still available digitally through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

So following Mother’s love of reading and writing, I am now writing as well.  My first novel was published this year, “Annie’s Love”.  It is a representation of one of five prints that hung on Wilma’s wall in her home for many years.  I’m a number of years ahead of her in getting published, but her example gave me the encouragement to get into my own writing.  I hope she is looking down from heaven with her beautiful smile.  Thanks, Mother, for all your life has given me.  Miss you!

Linking today with Retired-not-tired for Memory Monday - my mother.
Retired Not Tired Memory Monday
Linda Kay

34 comments:

retired not tired said...

It is so wonderful to know you helped your Mom write her memoirs. I have my Mom's memoirs and I using them as a basis for my blog. Thanks for joining me on this incredible journey.

Anvilcloud said...

Great post, and good on both of you. I see her book on amazon.ca (kindle version only)but I don't see yours. Never done Kindle although I have dome Kobo and may remember to look there although I am preferring real books these days.

John's Island said...

Great story, and congratulations on getting published. My grandmother kept journals all of her adult life. I am lucky to have received them. She is my inspiration to blog ... it's like my virtual journal. Have a great day. John

TexWisGirl said...

so sweet - the bond you had with her. :)

DeniseinVA said...

What a heartwarming story, your Mother must have been one of a kind, the kind they broke the mold. Loved this post Linda Kay. Thank you for sharing your Mother's story.

Mike said...

Same thing with the phone and my Dad. After he died, it took me two years to stop going to the phone and start dialing when I saw something I thought he might be interested in.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Such a lovely tribute to your Mother. She must have been a wonderful person to know and to love. It was so nice that you helped her with her memoirs.

Banana Oil said...

I enjoyed your post about your mother. She must have been a great lady!

Nonnie said...

Oh how I love your story! I did the same with my mom - the tape recorder and questions to help her tell her story. What a wonderful accomplishment. I love that you were thick as thieves and you are following in her footsteps. :-)

Janie Junebug said...

You are your mother's girl. You resemble her, and you have the same character traits. I'm so glad you helped her write a book. What a beautiful experience.

Love,
Janie

Gosia k said...

It is very nice tribute to your mom. I can saying looking at the photo that youur mum looks like typical German ladies.. I often visit Germany so I know. One day I would like to read your book but I am not sure if I can buy it on Amazon living in European Union - what aboutr extra tax>?

Bethany Carson said...

Enjoyed reading about your mother. She sounds like a very special lady--so wonderful you could write a book with her!

Rory Bore said...

What a wonderful thing you did helping your mother achieve her memoirs! And then to carry on that legacy yourself.
I would be willing to be she absolutely is smiling right now!

Revrunner said...

God bless storytellers and writers every one; otherwise, I would have nothing to read. :-)

William Kendall said...

Your mother reminds me of mine... she could almost always see the good in people... with the odd exception here and there.

No matter now long they're gone, we still miss them.

Cynthia said...

Lovely memories of your mom. It's wonderful for your children and grandchildren that you finally got her to write her memories down. I wish we had more of the stories in my family saved.

".E." Lizard Breath Speaks, Beth said...

i always tell my mom i need to hear it all ... how families got to where we are in VA and all that jazz. i need to write it all down so i can remember for years and years. same thing with furniture and other goodies. i just can not keep it all in my brain-o. ( :

Cranberry Morning said...

Congratulations on a published work! And isn't it a gift that your mom passed on to you - the love of reading and writing. I love seeing this in my own children. They grew up surrounded by good books.

Far Side of Fifty said...

How wonderful to have a Mother that encouraged reading, you were very lucky! How wonderful that you helped her write her book...forever a family treasure! :)

The Yum List said...

What powerful messages - love and acceptance and reading. Both help each other grow - reading widens your perspective and enables you love and accept through understanding.

whiteangel said...

That's a wonderful post about your mother. I enjoyed reading it :)

Betsy Adams said...

What a great tribute to your mother. It's obvious that she was a huge influence on you. My mother died in 1991 at the age of 91... I still miss her. She set so many good examples for me --and was an inspiration to all that knew her...

Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Betsy

Romi C said...

Thank you for sharing a great story of your wonderful mother.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This was really heartwarming to read, Linda. I wish I thought to do the same with my Mom before she passed away a few years ago. We always think we will have more time with our loved ones, don't we?
I was fortunate to live close to my Mothers all my life, so I heard and remember most of her stories and I think I'll write them down for my grandchildren, as well as my own stories.

I'd love to read your Mother's life story and will look for it on the B&N web site. She sounds like she was a wonderful and admirable woman. Best of luck with your novel writings.

Terri said...

I wish I had done this with my grandparents. They all had such wonderful stories and I can only vaguely remember a few now. It isn't to late to prompt my parents for stories, and I try to do then when we have time together. I am a genealogist and my family tends to roll their eyes when I start talking about it though. LOL!

Amy at love made my home said...

What wonderful memories of your Mom, and how great that you took them time to record her thoughts and to write the book. She must have been a lovely lady and very proud of you too I am sure. xx

eileeninmd said...

You Mom was a lovely lady, very special. Thanks for sharing your story.. Happy Tuesday!

Saucy Kodz said...

I really enjoyed reading your post about your Mom - what wonderful memories you made together as this book was written. She sounds like she was quite the lovely person and you were most fortunate to have a "Mom" like her.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Such an impressive, loving, post!! I especially enjoyed your bonding with your mom. As I was with my mom.

And yes, I still have urges to call her tho she's been gone since 1990

HOOTIN ANNI said...

ps....I failed to mention above how beautiful your mother was. And you can see a lot of her in your profile image.

Also, regarding your comment...yes, we too have been to the King's Ranch often. Sometimes for their cowboy breakfast they hold annually and other times when we have company and they want to go on the tour. The part that impresses me most is the ranch house where Henrietta King resided and the old cotton smuggling route to the bay waters.

Anita said...

Congrats for your book!
Lovely to read about your Mom. She must be so proud of you & is showering her blessings on you from Heaven.
Keep writing!
I'm your 51st Follower :)

Michelle F said...

Linda Kay,

Your mother is a beautiful woman.
I can see where your awesomeness comes from.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Rose said...

Just added your mom's book to my wishlist...I am pretty sure I will end up buying it. It is my type of book!

Terri B said...

That was a wonderful thing you helped your mom do- a fantastic memoir of her life, and you probably learned a lot about her, too.
My grandfather used to love to tell stories..I am sad now that I didn't write them down.
Have a lovely weekend!

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