A Tribute to Mom

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One year ago today, I walked into my mother’s room and said:  “Mom, today is your birthday.  Do you know how old you are?”  She thought for a moment and said:  “No Stan, I don’t think I do.”  “You’re 101,” I said.  My statement revived her spunky and independent spirit, and she informed me that, “I might not know how old I am, but I know I’m not 101!” 

Mom died about a month later form the ravages of Alzheimers. Since Mom today is her birthday, I’m re-posting this blog as a tribute to her. . .

Times were tough in 1930. The stock market crash in 1929 had knocked the economic wind out of the United States and left it gasping for survival. Some 1,350 banks would fail and close their doors. The newspaper headlines reported on financial failures as well as world leaders like Mussolini, Stalin, and Herbert Hoover.

This was a time in our nation’s history when the price of bread was 9 cents a loaf, gas was 10 cents a gallon, and a movie ticket was 35 cents.

On Friday, June 20th, about half way through 1930, Buzz Aldrin was born. At the time of his birth, the idea of space flight was just science fiction; however, Aldrin would join Neil Armstrong on the Apollo 11 mission in 1969; and, they would be the first two people to walk on the moon.

Buzz Aldrin wasn’t the only person born on June 20, 1930. A baby girl, who would never experience his fame and notoriety, was also born. Her family had little money but a lot of love. Her fragile world was shattered a few years later when her mother died. She quit school in the 8th grade because her dad needed her to help work the fields—the fields of a farm he would later be forced to sell.

As a young lady, she married, but heartache found her again. At the age of 35 she became a widow when her husband was killed on the job, and she was left with three young sons. A short time later she married again. Five children came with her new husband. His 5 and her 3 made for an interesting life that could be as harried as it was happy.

Then it happened again—one of their children died an untimely death. Her family would adjust to the loss and she and her husband would lean heavily on each other as they moved forward as a cohesive couple. The two of them retired, traveled, and grew old together.

When her second husband died, the truth was exposed: She was weaker than any of her family knew. Her cognitive skills were becoming cobwebs; Her sense of direction failed her; and, she was often lost.

On Monday of last week, my siblings and I had to stand toe-to-toe with the toughest woman we’ve ever known and break the news: “Mom, you can’t live by yourself any longer—we’re moving you into assisted living.”

Mom’s independent spirit has served her well for most of her life. She kept going and remained positive when she had every right to be negative and quit. It’s that same spirit that keeps saying: “I’m not staying here. I’m going home.” But with the next sentence, it’s very clear that Alzheimer’s has a befuddling grip on her once vibrant mind and spirit.

Buzz Aldrin may have walked on the moon, but he stands in the shadow of my mother, Evelyn Lou Lacy–the girl who was also born June 20, 1930. She’s been a loving and loyal daughter, a faithful wife to two fortunate men, and a sometimes fearsome force who molded the life of her children.

Thanks for reading this tribute from a 62 year old orphan who misses his mother on her birthday.

Vintage 1969

moonprintThe picture to the left was taken 45 years ago. It is the remnant of one of the first foot prints to be left on the surface of the moon.

On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. touched down on the surface of the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission. At 10:39:33 PM EDT, Armstrong opened the hatch of the lunar module and climbed down the ladder to the moon’s surface. He then made his historic statement: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

moonbootArmstrong and Aldrin were wearing boots made from a special silicon rubber developed by GE. To commemorate this event, GE decided to make 100 pairs of a moon boot sneaker called The Missions, and they will sell for $196.90 a pair.

Even though the Bible doesn’t say anything about walking on the moon, it does say quite a bit about walking for the Master:

• We are called to follow the example of Jesus and walk in love (Ephesians 5:2).
• We are to follow in the footsteps of the faith of Abraham (Romans 4:12).
• We are to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
• We are to walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8).
• We are to walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10).
• Paul issued a warning to those who walked in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but were busybodies (I Thessalonians 3:11).

You don’t have to buy a pair of fancy boots to go on a mission for God, but you should take the time to acknowledge Him and allow Him to direct your paths: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).”

Moon Walks and Mothers

dep276Times were tough in 1930. The stock market crash in 1929 had knocked the economic wind out of the United States and left it gasping for survival. Some 1,350 banks would fail and close their doors. The newspaper headlines reported on financial failures as well as world leaders like Mussolini, Stalin, and Herbert Hoover.

This was a time in our nation’s history when the price of bread was 9 cents a loaf, gas was 10 cents a gallon, and a movie ticket was 35 cents.

On Friday, June 20th, about half way through 1930, Buzz Aldrin was born. When he was born, the idea of space flight was just science fiction; however, Aldrin would join Neil Armstrong on the Apollo 11 mission in 1969; and, they would be the first two people to walk on the moon.

Buzz Aldrin wasn’t the only person born on June 20, 1930. A baby girl, who would never experience his fame and notoriety, was also born. Her family had little money but a lot of love. Her fragile world was shattered a few years later when her mother died. She quit school in the 8th grade because her dad needed her to help work the fields—the fields of a farm he would be forced to sell.

As a young lady, she married, but heartache found her again. At the age of 35 she became a widow when her husband was killed on the job, and she was left with three young sons. A short time later she married again. Five children came with her new husband. His 5 and her 3 made for an interesting life that could be as harried as it was happy.

Then it happened again—one of their children died an untimely death. Her family would adjust to the loss and she and her husband would lean heavily on each other as they moved forward as a cohesive couple. The two of them retired, traveled, and grew old together.

When her second husband died, the truth was exposed: She was weaker than any of her family knew. Her cognitive skills were becoming cobwebs; Her sense of direction failed her; and, she was often lost.

On Monday of last week, my siblings and I had to stand toe-to-toe with the toughest woman we’ve ever known and break the news: “Mom, you can’t live by yourself any longer—we’re moving you into assisted living.”

Mom’s independent spirit has served her well for most of her life. She kept going and remained positive when she had every right to be negative and quit. It’s that same spirit that keeps saying: “I’m not staying here. I’m going home.” But with the next sentence, it’s very clear that Alzheimer’s has a befuddling grip on her once vibrant mind and spirit.

Buzz Aldrin may have walked on the moon, but he stands in the shadow of my mother, Evelyn Lou Lacy–the girl who was also born June 20, 1930. She’s been a loving and loyal daughter, a faithful wife to two fortunate men, and a sometimes fearsome force who molded the life of her children.

“Mom, we love you and we’re praying for you.”