It was 1944

This month, the 2 year anniversary of my Mothers passing ~ her stories, love, and legacy lives on through me, for my grandchildren. I love and miss you Mother..

One of the many stories told to me by my Mother, when I was young, of her life, coming up right after the  great depression as a young child. And being poor was something they had no idea about as kids, everyone around them was poor.. But, they survived with love, family, neighbors, and their faith in God.

 

She was born March 23, 1936 in a small Alabama town. She remembers him heading out early, six days a week as a child. He always said the earth waits for him. Him, and his tractor, the tractor the plow, that digs the dirt for planting. Long hours in the fields, from daylight until dark.. That was daddys job, she told me.. He had too, there we ten of us,  Ma’ ma, Daddy, me, and seven siblings. We all would pray for just enough rain, and sun, hoping this years crop would be our best ever.. Daddy believed in the power of prayer..
 
Daddy worked the fields, plowing, hoeing, each and every day, from sun up, till sundown.. All but Sunday, that was the Lords day in their rural Southern little town.. And her Daddy, my grandfather, who passed away before I was born, was the preacher at the little Baptist church down the dirt road. She shares with me how her Ma’ma takes the wash to the creek, and all the  girls would go with her.
 
She was right along her Mama’s side helping, while the others played in the creek. They are still young yet, and do not see what I see, Ma’ma would say. She knew her mother and father worked hard together, to feed, cloth, and care for 8 children, in times of hardship, and coming out of the great depression times seemed doubley hard. I reckon it’s a good thing the younger ones didn’t get it, Ma’ma  would tell me.  Three of us was enough in this family to know about, and worry over hard times, she said..
 
We depended on each other, and our neighbors, she told me.. They all  shared with each other in times of need. Neighbor’s were there to help, in whatever situation they could for each other Ma’ma said.
 Ma’ma told me they were poor, but didnt know no difference, because  everyone around us was in the same situation, we were all poor , but we had no idea we were, she said..
 I thought to myself  a few times when she would share her stories with me, how did they not know they were poor.. But, I get it now.
 
She said that they were taught that hard work, dedication, and prayer  was what it took to make all things come together for their good. We had LOVE, real close family love, no fighting, or gossip, no time for the devils workshop in  our home, Ma’am would say.. Daddy would never have that.. She talked a lot about how they were blessed with Love, Joy, and  our Faith, as her  Daddy spoke the very words of God each Sunday, and to each of us during the week. We were taught to respect our elders, do our chores.And look to God for all our troubles, and needs, she told me. And that is what I  am trying to teach you Debbie, so that you can teach it to your children, and they, theirs. The seeds of a strong, God fearing family carry on..
 
This is one of  the stories  my Mother shared with me of her life, when I was younger. Story after story she would tell me, about being a child coming out of the depression, growing up poor, but so blessed with the love of a family unit. I wonder sometimes to myself,  has the family unit left this world for good today? It sure seems as though it has .. And I feel so blessed to know what it is like to have a strong family, loving, and blessed by the strong faith of the generations before me.. I loved for my Ma’ma to tell me stories of her life as a child, it was so sweet, and soothing to me then, and now..
 
~Debbie~

Comments

  1. Rebecca Merritt says:

    Debby,
    You have a way with words, you paint a picture that all can see. I enjoyed meeting your family today. I love my Mom too!

  2. Vickie Wilker says:

    My mom was born in 1932 and grew up on farms during the depression. She was the oldest of 7 kids, and learned how to cook and tend children at a very early age. She passed away in March of 2002 from cancer, and there are many days that I miss her very much, especially around the holidays. But I know that she isn’t too far away, and I can feel her Spirit very close on those days that I am feeling especially low. Your mom sounds like an amazing woman. But then, when you have a loving, remarkable, brave mother, you tend to be a bit biased and protective. This blog is a great tribute to your mom (and your dad, too).

  3. joanne nixon says:

    thank you for your inspiring posts (and all the delicious recipes) my mother passed away a little over two years ago, too. i miss her everyday. last night i received a call from my cousin informing me that my 99 yr old Godmother passed away. she was the last remaining member of my mother’s immediate family. they are all together now….a choir of mischievous angels. the memories left behind will always be in my heart. i hope future generations will have the same feelings of a loving family unit….only time will tell……

    blessings to you, dear debbie. i hope you find comfort today in the beautiful thoughts and memories of a gentler time….

  4. You know what hon ‘I was born in 1940 those were good times,I have lost both my dad and mom and God knows how much I miss them both, they were like ur parents hard working people and good God fearing christian people I wouldn’t trade my child hood for all the others out there.Thanks for ahareing, and God bless you

  5. Pat Bennett says:

    Very touching tribute to your Mother Debbie. Thanks you for sharing it.

  6. So is this the home you grew up in and I and I’m sure others would love to see pictures of mom and dad and the feild he planted all the time and thank you for sharing some of your past…

  7. Your story touched me so. Reminds me so much of my own mother, who, bless her soul, is still with us at the age of 94. I am such a mama’s girl – the youngest of six and me and my mom are so very close. I tear up a lot lately at the thought of losing her and pray for God’s grace to wrap me up tighthly on the day I must receive that news. I am so not prepared to lose her (tears now running down my face).

    • Jennifer~ wow, that is awesome. It changes you.. while I have learned, well, learning to live my life without her here, I havehad to learn how to carry her, her life, all the she taught me, in my heart. I still love her so.. I miss her daily, she is just my BEST FRIEND, not was, but is still..

      Debbie

      • Reading this through blurry eyes — I too come from a family of ten, I have 4 sisters and 3 brothers…all still living. I am a middle child. My mother passed away on Christmas morning, 1984, after a two year battle with cancer at the age of 61. My daddy died two years before her at the very young age of 60. Your story hit home in many ways.
        Mama was a talented seamstress and great cook and a wonderful mama to us all. I am proud to say, the older I get the more I remind myself of my mama. I cook just like she did…and that makes my husband very happy. I miss her dearly, especially on Christmas morning.

        I love your story…and I love your blog/fb photos. God Bless You, Debbie!

  8. Peggy Born says:

    Debbie, this sounds so much like my mother’s life as a young girl. She was raised in a small Alabama town – Silas. I wonder if that was close to your family. She is still with us – turns 82 next week and I am going to visit her and cherish every moment we have left of her! Thank you for sharing your mom’s story. (BTW – there were 7 in my mother’s family as well – very tough times!)

  9. My own lovely and wonderful Mom was born in 1925. She also grew up on a farm and was doing the majority of cooking and cleaning by the time she was 10. The stories she told were of being poor but having a strong faith, a lot of love, and always having enough food to eat, just not money to spend. My Mom passed away from Pancreatic cancer in February of 1995 and my Dad 2 years later on Oct. 1st. I miss them every single day, but especially holidays, birthdays and the anniversary of their deaths.

    I think our Moms sound a great deal alike and probably would have liked each other a great deal. I have full faith our Mom’s are in heaven watching over us, loving us from afar. Perhaps they know each other! That would be very cool. (if your Mom liked to play cards, then I know my parents would have sought her out in heaven!)

    You have my prayers and thanks for giving us such a wonderful page and blog. It is uplifting and joyful. A real tribute to your Mom.

  10. My precious Mom passed away September 22, 2011 at the age of 89. My mom had so much faith that she really believed Jesus was going to let her live to be 100! She had a lot of people convinced and I was one of them!! In July, 2011 mom was diagnosed with Panceatic Cancer and two months later she was gone! Last month was really rough, even if I know my beautiful mother is in Heaven with Jesus, I still miss her and I will until the day I join her in Heaven!! Being born in 1922, in Alliance, Ohio she also went through some of the hard times y’all have talked about. My grandfather was a Barber and during these times he would cut hair and the people would pay him with a chicken, eggs, milk or whatever vegetables they grew. There were 4-children in her family and mother was the oldest so she did most of the cleaning, washing and ironing. They went through some hard times and the way things are looking this day and time I think we may go through worse times then they did!! But if the familys of today do like the familys back then, stay together and Pray together we’ll all be ok!!

  11. Beverly Graham says:

    Your story was beautiful. I can relate as your mother was 3 years older than me. I lived those days and they were hard times. “The Walton’s” is another good example. We were poor but us kids did not know that. We were happy and had good companionship with our brothers and sisters, and we worked hard. I still have the values instilled by parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents to this day. The kids today have very little of this and it is a shame. Thank you for the trip down memory lane. Now I must go find my box of Kleenex.

    • Beverly, it took me many years to understand why my Mother shared her stories with us as kids/teens/ and young adults.. She wanted us to know that Love, was so important, and family.. She was so about family. And was happy with the simple things in life, always. She was such a sweet, kind, and gentle soul.. My Mother, my best friend..

      Debbie

  12. A beautiful tribute to your Mom – she passed her legacy & values onto those who follow as you have done too …

    I wrote this tribute to the Ladies in my family & my Mom in particular as she was losing her fight with cancer & she passed away the day after I posted it – 7 months ago! Like you, I miss my Mom daily but know she is now beyond the pain & suffering of her last days! http://deeatthecarlton.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/international-womens-day-for-special.html

    Regards
    Dee at the Carlton

  13. What a beautiful story! Thank you so much Debbie!

  14. Billie Shepherd says:

    Debbie, Thank you for your story. I lost my Mom in May just before her 83rd birthday. The hurt is still new to me but I miss her every day. Mom and my dad (who is still with us) were both hard working people and brought their 3 children up with lots of love. Taught us to respect people, to be honest and follow their example of hard working. Your story brought back some very good memories of farm life. Again thank you

    • Billie, than you for sharing on that.. I guess that’s why I am so wanting carrying on what they taught me.. Those were REAL morals, value, and principle.. Love, of family and the family unit.. More of what we need in today world..

      Debbie

  15. Debbie, You sound a lot like me. My mother had six brothers, and there were five girls, but my mother was the only female to survive and live. She had to help take care of all her brothers and help her mother in all the cooking, house work and gardening. My mother lost her mom to Alzheimer’s when she was about thirteen, and so she was on her own taking care of her six brothers after that. After mother married and had her four children, it was during the depression and we were poor but not aware because of all the love in the family, she made sure we were never aware of all the material things we didn’t have. LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED, John Lennon was right.
    Mother ended up with Alzheimer’s the same as her mother so I may get it as well. I lost her at the age of 90 over three years ago and I miss her all the time. We were more like buddies as I got older, so I didn’t just lose my mother, I also lost my running buddy. We lost her just two weeks after her 90th birthday.
    Love your posts, so don’t ever stop. God Bless You.

    • DORIE MARIE says:

      DEAR DEBBIE,
      WHAT A LOVELY STORY, YOUR MOM AND DAD WOULD BE SO HAPPY TO THINK THAT ALL THEIR EFFORTS TO RAISE SUCH NICE , CHRISTIAN CHILDREN. PAID OFF. I LOVE THAT VERSE IN THE BIBLE THAT SAYS, “I HAVE NO GREATER JOY THAN TO HEAR THAT MY CHILDREN WALK IN TRUTH” IF WE DO NOTHING ELSE WITH OUR CHILDREN , THE MOST IMPORTANT IS THAT WE SEE THAT OUR CHILDREN ARE SAVED AND WILL BE WITH US WHEN WE GO TO OUR HEAVENLY HOME!!!
      THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY, MINE IS NOT AS NICE AS YOURS AS WE HAD 14 IN OUR FAMILY, 7 BOYS AND 5 GIRLS AND I COME FROM A BROKEN HOME BUT GOD BLESSED ME BY GIVING ME TO AN UNCLE AND AUNT WHO HAD NO CHILDREN AND I HAD A GOOD HOME. I MISS MY AUNT AND UNCLE AND THEY HAVE BEEN GONE FOR MANY YEARS NOW. I AM 79 AND GOD HAS GIVEN ME MANY TRIALS BUT WAS WITH ME ALL THE WAY AND I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. IF YOU CAN WOULD YOU POST SOME PICTURES OF YOUR MOM AND DAD AND HOME!!! I LOVE COMING ON HERE AND SEEING ALL THAT YOU HAVE FOR US, THANK YOU DEBBIE AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK . GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY REAL GOOD!! DORIE MARIE. I AM FROM THE UP IN A LITTLE TOWN CALLED NORWAY , MICHIGAN .

  16. Your recipes are so wonderful and your pictures send me to heaven. I thought you were the movie star Debbie Reynolds, so I thought she paid everyone to take those pictures and receive the recipes. I’m so glad you aren’t and you did this all by yourself. Thanks for everything.

  17. Hey girl..love this…your momma was a sweet woman…I know you miss her…Im coming down next weekend..So i will give you a shout…LOVE YOU

  18. You have some of the memories that my mom has told me.
    Reading it just tore my heart to tears.The truth is staring us all in the face,yet we deny it.
    Thank You .
    Sincerely,Debbie,
    God Bless You,
    Pam Manilla
    xxxxx~~~~

  19. Debbie, Sweet post today. I’m in the middle of my edits on book #6..sigh…but saw your picture on FB and had to go finish reading it. My mother and dad faced the depression too. I’m from a family of 8 & I’m the baby. Only 3 of us left now, sadly. I grew up very poor and thank God everyday for the blessings he has gracouisly bestowed on me. I wonder as you do what has happened to the family unit as we know it. My children strive to keep that alive with my grandchildren but they are not the norm, it seems. Part of it I blame on instant gratification from things like, TV, cell phones that can do almost everything (except my housework. lol), movies, parental control and wanting to be your child’s best friend. We should not be their best friend as they grow up. Friends maybe–but we are there parents first–there needs to be boundaries. Kids for the most part, don’t have to work for anything, not even a car these days! For many, everything is given to them, which takes away the development for self-esteem and self-reliance.I blame it on our government for removing anything, in most instances, relating to God to be read, spoken, or whether it’s in offering a brief prayer before a football game. We are on a rocky, slippery road in this century. I do know this, experiencing hard times, has made me a Steel Magnolia. I learned this from obsvering my precious mom who died 14 yrs. ago this month, so I know how much you miss yours. Bless you for sharing your beautiful pictures and posts. You make many hearts merrier for having met you online. Mags

  20. mariane faeth says:

    Loved the way you wrote the story..it really came alive!!! You should write a book!!!
    I am blessed to be the youngest of 7 children.
    My oldest sister just spent two weeks visiting with us here from Holland. We were raised in Holland and came here to the USA in 1962..she is the only one that stayed behind to raise her own family. My parents lived through WWII and had some very hard times with keeping us all fed and safe while helping and hiding many Jewish families to stay safe as well. Many stories go along with that…but we survived!! I am the only one born after the war.
    But the most wonderful part was that we were all united recently..7 siblings, rangeing in ages from 82 to 65…all healthy, able bodied and well..!! God has been just awesome to my family..we are all believers and know that no matter what happens to any of us, we will be together again someday along with my beloved parents. Thanks for bringing joy to others on your websites..!!!

  21. NO WORDS TO EXPRESS HOW MOVED I WAS FROM THE WORDS YOU WROTE. MY HEART IS HEAVY .. I DID NOT HAVE THE CLOSENESS WITH MY MOTHER. SHE DIED VERY YOUNG…58 YRS YOUNG. I WISH SHE HAD SHARED MORE OF HER LIFE WITH ME. NOW THAT I AM OLDER I DO UNDERSTAND HOW HARD IT MUST HAVE BEEN FOR HER.SHE RAISED 7 KIDS AND SOMETIMES HALF THE NEIGHBORHOOD. YOU ARE TRULY BLESSED TO HAVE HAD SUCH A JOY IN YOUR LIFE. I ENJOY YOUR SITE SOOOOOOOOO MUCH. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING…. PEACE TO YOU DEBBIE.

  22. You all are beautiful. I share your pain but for my Grandmother. She was my family’s root. I will always remember what shes taught me. Miss her very dearly. hugs to you <3

  23. Taunna Ormond says:

    Your mother and mine sound very similar… She came from a family of 19 children, being right in the middle, born in 1922. Grandpa was a blacksmith and a chicken farmer. I remember hearing stories about how Grandma would bake 8 loaves of bread every-other day. When I was little, I remember going into the ‘old house’, that was behind the ‘new house’… Walking in, you could ‘feel’ the age and the history that seemed to live in every board of that house. I remember the old wood-burning cook stove in the kitchen and the thought of my mother as a child, helping her mother in that kitchen, and that amazing feeling will always be a treasured memory. I loved that old house, with all its stories.

    I am number 7 of nine children. We didn’t have much as far as material things go, but had lots of love. My mother was an amazing woman… I thought it was just that WE loved her so much, because she was OUR mother. But as I grew up, I realized that we weren’t the only ones that felt that way. She truly was a special woman, and mother to so many, that she didn’t give birth to… She was such a great example of Christ-like love. We lost her in 1999, and my dad 3 yrs later. They had been married for 58 yrs when my mom died, and I always knew they loved each other, and us, and the Savior. There was never any doubt.

    Life is so different now, and sometimes I really wish that the kids these days could experience some of those things, when times and people were more ‘real’ I’m very blessed to have children that try to do what’s right, and be good examples to their kids… I’m a grandmother of nine now, and try and make the experiences with my grandchildren different than what they usually experience, in this crazy world. I want them to know, that life is about love and family, faith and the real, important things in life. I know that I am blessed, in so many ways, and I want them to KNOW that I know…

    I really enjoyed hearing those sweet and tender thoughts about your mother’s life, and so many comments by others that truly love/loved their mothers too. It seems like faith is the common thread in most of these examples… Even though we may have different religious backgrounds, you being Baptist, and I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, or ‘Mormon’ , as a lot of people call us, and there are surely others that weren’t mentioned by name. But we all feel that love of family and the faith in our Savior in common. One of my favorite scriptures is John 13:34… “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

    Thanks for sharing your sweet story. I’m looking forward to looking deeper into your web-site :) Have a wonderful day!

  24. Your Mother’s words almost parell my Mother’s life. She was one of 14 children. Only one remains today and she will be 98 in December. My Mom died in May of this year and I miss her terribly. She had been wanting to go to be with her Lord for over one year not because she was il but because she was so tired. God answered her prayer and pneumonia and a failing heart took her life. I will always cherish the last days and hours with her as I held her and told her of my love for her and thanked her for loving me . I would sit on her bed and hold her time worn hands and kiss them and I knew in just hours I could not hold them again. Then she took one sigh and went away. I wish I could have heard the angels sing as they took to join them on her journey to her new home. The next day I did her hair and she was dressed in her favorite dress with a hand made lace collar and the sparkly brooch she so loved. That night we had a celebration of her life and her grandchildren sang and played instruments and her 6 children all spoke about our Mom…I will never forget that and I am very happy now that she finally got her wish and is singing, as she did all of her life, with the angels in heaven. Thank you my friend for your sweet friendship and sharing your story with me. I just love coming here and reading when I have the time. I love you angel friend and your kindness that always show through as a bright shining light!

    • Lo, it is so good to see you .. I think of you often, and the days of our once awesome chatroom. All that took place, and looking back, there was even then so much love there. I know you miss your Mother, as i miss my so much.. Tomorrow mine will have been gone home for 2 years.. Seems like yesterday, I was at her home… She told me that very morning she didn’t feel well, I stopped by and took my grandbabies she loved so much to see her. As we hugged goodbye that day, it seemed odd to me that she got up to hug me, often when she felt bad she and I would just hold hands and say we loved each other.. But, that day she said to me for the last time, as she had the weekend before her death, 3 days earlier, remember sister, she called me that.. I will always be right here , as she pointed to her heart.. I’ll never leave you, not ever.. Oh God, I thank you for letting her tell me that.. She is still here in my heart, right where she said she’d be.. I love and miss her so much..

      ~Debbie~

  25. Beautiful… Thank you for sharing this story, as well as all the pictures you post…. <3!

  26. Geri Tucker says:

    You are a very Blessed woman. I wish everyone could grow up the way you did. God bless!

  27. Texsheva says:

    Funny how all of us around that same age were taught the same basic stories….love of God, family & faith. Persevering through the hard times and knowing we’d all be ok because the family bond was strong. The sense of community and knowing it was more important to be there for others instead of just looking out for ourselves. It was a time when most people WENT to the church of their choice and that was the rule rather than the exception. My own dear Mother is gone now, but I heard many of the same things and it was wonderful to hear it again. God Bless.

  28. Pam Klocek says:

    Debbie, thank you for sharing . I wish life was that simple and full and prayerful as it was back then.. everyone looked out for each other.. There was none of “each man for himself” Like there is today.

  29. Debbie–I love your stories and pictures so much. I was born in September, 1929–I will be 84 years old in September–I was in a family of 8 children–2nd to the oldest–our story is the same as your Mom’s–farming, hard work, depression –we were poor but so was everyone else –we didn’t know any different–people seemed to be happier then than they are today. WW2 started and Daddy started working for a war plant –that took us off of the farm. My Deceased Husband was in Korea with a guy from Alabama–close to Tuscaloosa—I still hear from him occasionally–love his Southern Drawl.Take Care and God Bless!!

  30. Lynne Pardi says:

    I loved reading about your mother’s childhood. Your piece is well-written and touched my heart. My own mother (she passed away in 2000) was a wonderful storyteller too. She, too, was a “depression baby” and one of eight children. Her family lived in the city and were Irish Catholic, but there are still so many similarities! They were poor, but unaware of it. Their faith in God was very strong. They all worked hard and there was plenty of love and laughter and music in their home. Mom is gone, as are nearly all of her siblings now; but, her stories and her wonderful values live on in us, her grateful children. Thank you for sharing, Debbie, and please keep right on posting all of your beautiful pictures, inspiring words of wisdom, yummy recipes, and delightful stories!

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