I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme is open-ended. My goal is to write daily posts using each letter of the alphabet in April (Sundays off for good behavior and to make it work for the alphabet). I’ll be writing family stories, memoir or journal prompts, reviews about theatre and food, maybe a visit from my sock puppet characters Millie and Willie, and using photos I’ve taken along the way. Enjoy!
In addition to the marathon challenge, it is also the first Monday of the month which means we have the Question of the Month, posed by Michael D’Agostino at A Life Examined. He made it easy for us A-Z’ers: What is your favorite thing that starts with C? Even easier, my favorite thing is Cake, more specifically Chocolate Cake, and we had a birthday Celebration for my mom yesterday. She’s turning 80 in April. As an Octogenarian, she’s entitled to spend the octave of her birthday celebrating. What’s the octave of your birthday? The 8 (or more) days that surround your birthday. I think that when you have those milestone birthdays, you can celebrate the whole month, or as long as you want!
April is the birth month of my mom, Jane (Siberg) Aalgaard. One Mother’s Day, several years ago, she posed the question, What will you remember about your mother? (I wonder the same thing about my kids.) My oldest brother Nathan said something like, “You are a healer. You heal people physically, mentally, and spiritually.” At least, that’s how I remember it. I agree. My mom is kind and giving. She said she wanted to be a nurse ever since she was a little girl. She went to nursing school, and talks about that time often. She didn’t work in a hospital. She raised us. She also was the nurse on call for the neighbors in our farming community. She did home health care and has always been someone who cares for the elderly. She brought us to nursing homes to play piano, sing, and interact with the residents. Her parents ran a nursing home after she had left the house. (We have some vivid memories of visiting that facility.) She still volunteers to read to residents at a local nursing home. When an elderly woman fell on her way into a church for one of my dad’s choir concerts, mom was the first one to help her out. She brought her into the bathroom and helped clean her up and talked to her.
My mom is very welcoming. I always felt free to bring friends home, had birthday parties and sleepovers while I was a school girl, then brought home college roommates, and friends who wanted to visit the farm. If you were to come home with me, she’d ask you if you want some tea or something to eat. She’d sit down at the table and talk to you, and more importantly listen to what you had to say. My mom is interested in people and who they are. She loves talking about health and God. She’s deeply spiritual. I think that if she were a young person today, she might go into the ministry. She likes classical music, a good story book (as she calls them), tea, intelligent conversation, and quiet time. She told me once that while raising all six of us kids on the farm, that when it got overwhelming, she’d sit down and read a book. I understand now that it was overwhelming to raise a big family with a husband who was a farmer first and life revolved around his schedule. She had her Bible study and church socials. She quilts and bakes, does kind things for others, and loves gardening.
Grandma makes the best cinnamon bread. My boys love it. When they were small, and we were on our way to my parents’ house, Charlie (one of the twins) piped up from the backseat and said, “I’m hungry.”
“Okay, honey. We’re almost there. What do you need?”
“I’m hungry for cinnamon bread.”
A few more pictures from Mom’s Birthday celebration.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I hope we have many more celebrations with you.
Even though it was Mom’s Birthday, great-granddaughter Maddie got much of the attention!
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: How will you (do you) remember your mom?