February 20, 2012 7:41am
|Kathleene and Travis,
Your mother is/was all this and more: humorous, creative, inventive, resilient, compassionate, loving, caring, etc. Wish I would have asked her how she was able to be all this and do everything, but as I'm typing,it dawns on me that I know that answer:she was a fine Christian lady who walked right off the Proverbs 31 page of the Bible.
But, the one thing she did that absolutely takes my breath and thoughts away and makes me eternally grateful and blessed is the story of how she, your daddy,with you and Travis (about ages 3 and 6),your grandma Van Treese just took my blind mother Annis, my two brothers, ages 2 and 3, and myself, age 4, into their home with open arms, when my mother divorced. Who does that? Only the Proverbs 31 lady and Van Treeses!
Grandma Van Treese found an old house on Gladstone St. in SA and purchased it for back taxes, according to what your mother told me. Our family moved into the living room along with a stray black cat, which your mother hauled off a couple of times and it kept coming back. We hung clothes on a rod in the corner (there were no closets), and we bathed in an old tin tub in the kitchen with water heated for us. (Girls bathed first--we were "supposedly" cleaner!). No indoor plumbing either. For a year we lived under the same roof--amazing some of us kids didn't really cause trouble and leave permanent scars! Forever, I will have this memory of generosity and love engraved upon my heart.What a matriarch! What a true friend and lady.
However, she could be ingenious to the point that it was my challenge to destroy that trait. I hated "cow's milk"--the pure, out-of-the-bag unpasteurized milk she got from Holders' dairy up the road. She would try to get me to drink it in various containers and disguised with chocolate to trick me into thinking it was real milk from the grocery store. To my knowledge, it never worked, but she probably tricked me. And, she would let me beat the thunder out of her old, black manual typewriter. I loved that machine--still enjoy typing.
Many of my childhood memories are of being with the Van Treeses.
When my beloved black cat died, my mother was making my brothers bury it in the back yard while I was in the house crying my eyes out and broken-hearted. Your mother stopped by our house that day, put her arms around me and let me cry all over her pretty suit.
I could go on and on. You know, Winston Churchill once said that the greatest legacy a person could leave would be his children. He was a troubled man because a son was an alcoholic and a daughter had many mental problems. Well, your mother and your daddy, Hubert Matthew Van Treese (see Kathleene's blog entry Nov. 4, 20ll) have left a bright and shining legacy: Travis and Kathleene. Y'all would be the ultimate tribute to your parents and their dedication to living God's way,living the really good life and rearing two fine Christian children. Erma Bombeck said that she hoped when she stood before God at the end of her life, she would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, "I used up everything You (God) gave me." Your mother used up everything for all the best. She is a great part of me, and I loved her dearly and will also sorely miss her...from Portia