To Mama Freda

Dear Mama,

I see you brown-haired, bright-eyed, full of strength and energy. I see you serving dinner to people around a big table. I see you working in the garden, then in the kitchen canning tomatoes, peaches, green beans, applesauce. I see you leading teens in a story-telling game around a campfire. I see you at your sewing machine turning yards of cloth into beautiful dresses. I see you packing a picnic of fried chicken and buttered bread and pudding to serve to us under a tree out at Grandpa’s farm.

I see you nursing a baby, brushing pony tails, ironing camp clothes, throwing paper route newspapers from a Voltswagon window. I see you placing a picture of daffodils on the breakfast table and setting plates for pancakes. I see you telling a story, reading a book, shaping bread dough into rolls, hanging children’s dresses on the clothesline. I see you washing children’s faces, sweeping and mopping floors, tying a little boy’s necktie, searching for one child’s lost shoe.

I see you kissing our Daddy on the head, smoothing a tablecloth onto the table, welcoming people at the door, tying a bright floral scarf on your neck. I see you arranging stems of pussy willow in a gray crockery vase in the spring, gladiolas in it in the summer, bright leaves in the same vase in the fall. I see you stitching dolls for children, dresses for school girls, hemming aprons, and upholstering a sofa. I see you praying for a little girl in a hospital, carrying a casserole dish of supper to an ailing friend, writing a letter to a relative. I see you talking theology with a room full of college students.

I see you reading books in the sunshine on the river dock or on the glider facing the lake. I see you comforting others. I see you rocking sleepy babies in your favorite rocking chair with the wide wooden arms supported by wagon wheels. I see you cooking, feeding, coaching, tending, reaching, serving, helping, teaching, guiding, working and living purposefully through the years.

And oh, how I do miss you! You are so far away, across five states and when I see you you are white-haired, still bright-eyed, but quieter and fragile. You have changed, but I remember your vibrant years when you cared for nine children and kept our home so well. I remember all the love and fun and goodness you sewed into our hearts.  I still love you dearly, Mama, and think you are the most beautiful Mama in the world!


2 thoughts on “To Mama Freda

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  1. Such precious words you've written! It's good that you took the time to set them down on paper (well, computer!) while your Mama is still living & can read them. As time progresses & sometimes whizzes by, we all miss what is past. Why can't we learn to fully appreciate it NOW? But this is better than just holding it in your heart & never expressing it to encourage & inspire & comfort others! Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I don't know your mother but sure wish I had when you were growing up!!


  2. Thank you, Laura. I wish you had known her too. She is pretty happy still, just frustrated that she can't do things she once did like sewing and cooking. She still reads all the time and likes to read aloud to Dad. She does hand sewing when Dad can help her thread needles. She lives at home still and enjoys the family visiting.She just slowed and has become thin and her hair isn't gray but white.


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