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!


Kip & Alisha said...

This is SO special! Thanks for sharing :)

Melanie said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mom! She sounds like she was an amazing lady.

Betsy Fox said...

Kelli, this is so beautiful. What a legacy she has left to you and your siblings. What a blessing to have her for a mother. I've been thinking of you and wanted to come hug you on Sunday, but we never crossed paths. I'm sorry I didn't come find you. I hope you are feeling comforted during this sad time.

Gabrielle Kim said...

What a beautiful post! She sounds like a truly amazing woman and someone I would have liked to have known! I know she was a great mom, because you are such a great person!

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