Sunday, June 12, 2011

Emma Arlene Swanson Jackson ~ October 13,1928 - May 26, 2011

Mom & Dad raised a family of 9 children. Because there is a 21 year age span from the oldest to youngest, a lot of our memories of growing up with Mom are different. We have all had different experiences, but we all learned the same life lessons. This is a collaboration of each of our memories of our mother.


When you thought we weren’t looking…
You sewed our clothes on the treadle sewing machine late at night.
You mopped the kitchen floor on your hands and knees at night after we went to bed.
You weeded our garden & tended our yard in the early mornings.
You ironed & pressed our clothes, EVEN our sheets & pillowcases.
You taught us how to cook and even to sew on that old treadle machine, INCLUDING your sons.
You taught us the value of hard work.

When you thought we weren’t looking…
You made casseroles & brownies for ward members who were in need – through this we developed a preference for the brownie edge pieces that WE were given.
You worked late into the night doing decorations for Relief Society luncheons, helping set them up the night before, taking them down & cleaning up.
We saw you care for others:
-You took care of us after surgeries, coming to our homes to do so… even doing our laundry.
-We watched you thoughtfully care for great Aunt Blanche & Grandma.
You taught us how to give selfless service.

When you thought we weren’t looking…
You amazed us knowing everyone’s schedule without a day planner or blackberry.
Without the conveniences of today, dinner was ready when Dad came home & IMAGINE 9 kids without disposable diapers.
We saw you time Thanksgiving dinner, for so many, perfectly.
You knew all of our likes & dislikes and always remembered our favorites.
You taught us to pay attention to detail.

When you thought we weren’t looking…
You offered great wisdom & advice to us when we needed it.
You told us not to say things that were not nice, but listened anyway.
You said many times, “If you haven’t tried it, don’t knock it.” So you have to taste everything at least once.
We watched you turn the other cheek and never hold a grudge.
We learned not ALL inappropriate language consisted only of swear words.
You showed us to be grateful for what we have
You chose to be happy.
You taught by being a great example.

When you thought we weren’t looking…
We saw you pass the rolls at dinner… TOSSING one across the table.
We noticed the extra care you took to beautifully wrap our presents.
You relaxed at the end of the day by reading the paper & drinking your Pepsi in the living room, STARTING to watch Perry Mason or playing solitaire.
We enjoyed our holiday celebrations: the decorations, the dishes & special treats. We even celebrated St Patrick’s Day. You got us time and time again for April Fool’s . You made holidays fun.
You had the patience to teach even the grandkids how to enjoy playing cards and games.
We saw you in the stands at our track meets, ball games, concerts & dance recitals.
When we played Pinochle, we didn’t buy into your surprised expression as you laid down a double Pinchole.
We caught you, in your 60’s, on roller blades & in the living room doing cart wheels.
We heard you humming and singing, you hummed as you worked & you taught us many songs… we know “MARES EAT OATS”… and akiddlyivytoo.
We recognized your love for dancing… in the living room with Dad or after our Thanksgiving dinner.
You taught us how to have fun.

When you thought we weren’t looking…
You made sure that everything was equal, yet at the same time individual.
You remembered each or your grandchildren & great grandchildren with cards & gifts.
You always waited up at night until all of us were home, and didn’t get mad even when the police brought some of THEM home.
You made us feel like we were each your favorite child or grandchild, without making us jealous of the time you spent with the other kids.
You taught us the example of temple attendance. When Dad would get home from work you were dressed and ready to leave for the temple.
We caught you and Dad, many times, holding each other’s hand tenderly.
We felt your love for each of us.

When you thought we weren’t looking…
You sacrificed your NEEDS, a new dress, a pair of shoes, for the WANTS of your children. You showed us how to be selfless.
We saw your pain in your physical ailments and knew you were sacrificing for us to have you just a little longer.
You endured many difficult trials, for your family, with courage, dignity & strength. You truly endured to the end.
We love you Mom!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

like clockwork

There are three things I can count on every February.

Valentine's Day

Our Anniversary

& Mr. Wright getting sick.

These three things come like clockwork ever since our wedding day.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

the spirit of CHRISTMAS

Is it wrong that I always want the Christmas decorations in my house to look a certain way? I want a green tree with white lights, red ornaments and silver stars.

I want fake snow and pine boughs.

And when everything is up it's beautiful. At least to me.

However, I'm sure Mr. Wright just wants to pull his hair out every year. (shh...I know there is not a lot there...don't make me feel worse) This year I tried harder. We listened to Christmas music and I even let him make some of the decisions. Well, at least one.

But who am I kidding it's not just Christmas. We put the house back to "normal" last week. And by "we" I mean I made the decisions and told Mr. Wright what he was allowed to do. He packed the stuff up in the boxes (after I sorted them out) and carried them down to the storage. Then I put the "regular stuff" out again. I'm not quite sure where Mr. Wright was at that point. Probably wishing he could escape the insanity of me. I know it sounds like I am just mean and bossy. And maybe even crazy...but the truth is that I think I might be - just a LITTLE bit neurotic.

Somewhere between the crazy me of decorating for Christmas and the crazy me of putting the house back together, there was a lot of cherished memories with family, friends and each other. Memories of singing, laughing and playing. Memories that have reminded me that Christmas is about giving...of oneself, of time and of love.

I hope to be better at not only remembering that next year but doing that next year.

Yesterday - I just got around to reading this in the December New Era. And although Christmas is over - I still think it is important for me today. As I set new goals or my new year's resolutions - I hope to be a better giver throughout the year. A giver of my love, my time and myself!
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