Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Baboo!

Today is Mother's birthday! Hip hip hooray!

Baboo is a remarkable woman. Born to extremely poor parents during the Depression, she went to live with her Grandparents until she was ten as the farm would provide what they could not. She was the darling of the family, petted, adored, fed. But, when she was ten, her little brother was born and she came home to help with him.

Grandpa didn't value education and wanted Mother to quit school. Thankfully, a teacher worked it out so Mother could attend classes half a day and take care of her brother the other half. Mother graduated with honors, after a brilliant basketball career in spite of being 5'1", and faced what seemed to be her fate -- working at the same sock factory with my Grandparents.

She rebelled and essentially ran away from home so she could attend nursing school. She sat in classes eight hours, worked to pay her way for eight hours, and then did all the other things she had to do in the other eight. Within three years she was a certificate nurse and married to my Father who had just returned from Germany.

This amazing woman has fed a family of five on less than $5 a week (when $5 was real money!), managed a budget that often seemed to be Divinely provided (such as the year her medical bills alone were more than $3700 and my parents only earned $3200 -- yet they were debt-free), and raised three pretty remarkable children, even it I do say so myself. She, even more astoundingly, has stayed married to my Father for more than 55 years. And, to my great amusement, when she was 70, she started a fist fight and shouting match with a twit in church. Daddy had to separate them. Who can't love a woman who is that strong minded!?

We hear of the "greatest generation" frequently in the news. Mother isn't of the one referred to, however, I prefer to believe she is of the "greatest generation" for it is her's that made it possible for women today to follow their hearts and not society's. Her generation made sure their children were educated, that women could choose their life path, and that we didn't have to wear pearls in the kitchen.

She is called Baboo for what she said when I was expecting the Airman. After seeing the sonogram,she remarked, "It looks like a 'min-key' "(we love Inspector Clouseau). My reply? "Well, every min-key has a Ba-boon in the woodpile," and pointed to her. It stuck and all the grandbabies call her that.

I am so proud of both my parents for what they overcame in their youth -- ignorance, expectations, poverty, illness, and loss. I am joyful they have both been granted yet another year so that I might learn a little more from them. How blessed is that?

Happy birthday, Baboo!


  1. A very Happy Birthday to your Mom, Matty!! My mom's birthday is tomorrow. They truly are the greatest generation!

  2. Cute Name for a grandma!! MY pawpaw was raised during the Depression and he had One heck of a work ethic and was pretty much debt free till he got older and had Dr. bills.. He is still missed so much!
    Happy Birthday to your Mom!


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