Today is Veteran's Day, first called Armistice Day to remember the end of World War I. I certainly mean no disrespect for veterans, but mostly I am thinking about my mom, born Catherine Burnham Rowe, today. If she were alive, she would be 100 years old!
Of course, it wasn't a holiday when she was born. She always told me that her memory of that date 11/11/1918, when she turned 9 years old, was that she couldn't understand why everyone was all excited about something she didn't truly appreciate, and no one was paying any attention to her! The picture above is undated, and she never told me exactly when it was taken, but it looks to me as if she would have been about 9 or 10 at the time.
She graduated from Temple University with a degree in Home Economics, and followed a "track" more typical of many women today rather than in the 1930s. She taught in a school for the deaf, supervised relief work after floods in Pennsylvania, and ended up back in New York state in the early 1940s. There she met my dad, and well... here she is with "guess who" in 1948. It was really rare for women to become mothers at the age of 39 back then.
My relationship with my mother was always rocky. I was much more like my dad. But it is undeniable that she really went out of her way to try to do her best by me. She was the mom who would be the Scoutmaster, or take a group of us kids to camp, etc., when the mothers half her age were nowhere to be found. She fought the school system (but ultimately lost) trying to create better educational opportunities for me, and always made sure that I had books, art supplies, and opportunities to visit museums. She took me to the woods as a toddler, and then, of course, no one could get me OUT of the woods!
Here she is making the acquaintance of our youngest son. All our boys were adopted, and he had been in our family for about 2 months when we traveled to NY to let him meet the grandparents. She was very happy about that, and Steve seems pretty happy here too.
So, I'll just wish mom a happy century, even though she's not here in person to enjoy a birthday cake.
|See The Point of My Quality Day for one of the other sons, grown up. |
I haven't blogged about the one in this baby picture yet.