I know St. Patty's Day has passed but I couldn't let this week go by without writing a tribute to my dear mother. For those of you who have read my journal for some time, I confess I copied & pasted this entry from my entry last year.
On March 17, 1915 a little red headed girl came into this world, actually it was in Westphalia, Kansas. Her name, Edythe Irene Stern. She joined an older sister Doris and a brother Clarence and of course her mom and dad and a large extended family. Her father was a farmer who along with his brothers were fighting the extreme Kansas weather. One of his brothers traveled out to Washington and found a lovely area south of Yakima in eastern Washington. The little town was called Sunnyside. Edythe's uncle came back to Kansas with tales of inexpensive, rich farm land. So the whole family including Edythe's paternal grandparents packed up lock, stock & barrel and boarded a train for eastern Washington and a new life. Edythe was five years old when they moved to Washington. After they arrived in Washington another baby girl, Ermine was born. The entire family settled in an area just outside the city limits of Sunnyside to farm the land. They all had large gardens, chickens, milk cows and the primary crop, hops. Edythe remembered in the summer that many extra men were around for meals, these were men that traveled from farm to farm helping the different farmers gather their crops. She and her sisters learned at an early age to help their mother preparing and serving meals for these farm workers. Of course her brother, Clarence was taught to help with the crops. All the kids went to the local schools and they were encouraged by their parents to get a good education. Their mother did not want her daughters to have to do the hard manual labor of being a farmers wife, like she had been. Edythe graduated from Sunnyside high school in 1933. She continued to work on the farm for another year or so because her older sister Doris was still in college and Edythe could not continue her education until Doris graduated from college and began teaching, so she could help finance Edythe's continuing education. Their brother Clarence also attended college for a year but even tho he was a brilliant student, he decided school was not for him. He continued to work on the farm until he got a job on the railroad. Finally Edythe was able to move into Yakima and start her nurses training at St Elizabeth's Hospital. She had various jobs to help pay her way...her sister Doris helped out as much as she could as their parents had no money to spare for Edythe's schooling. At one point Edythe lived with a family who had a house full of kids, she was like a "mother's helper" all the while attending classes and doing her home work. The last year she was in nurses training, she was able to move into the student nurses dormitory at the hospital. Her room mate was an outgoing brunette from Ellensburg (just a little north of Yakima) named Ruberta Smith. They got along great and became as close as sisters. Ruberta didn't have a sister, just two brothers so she welcomed this new relationship with this red headed farm girl. When they had time off Edythe would take Ruberta home with her and she was welcomed with open arms by the Stern family. Meanwhile, Ruberta's oldest brother would come to visit her from time to time. Bill soon discovered that his sister's room mate was a sweet and pretty gal so the visits became more frequent. They began to date...which at times was difficult because he worked for the Milwaukee Railroad was constantly being moved around from location to location. Edythe and Ruberta graduated as registered nurses on September 29, 1936. They both went to work at St Elizabeth's hospital. Ruberta meet her future husband, Don while working there and Edythe continued her long distance relationship with Ruberta's brother, Bill. On October 8, 1939 Edythe and Bill were married at her parents home in Sunnyside. She quit her job at the hospital because Bill's job sent them to many remote places. He was later transferred to western Washington and they set up housekeeping.She went back to work in the Newborn Nursery at a local hospital. While working there she became pregnant with their first child. In January 1942, they had their first child, a girl......me. Yes, Edythe was my mother. She was a dear woman. She was a devout Christian woman, she worked hard to make our home a warm and loving place. She loved giving of herself...she was active at church, she worked in the church nursery for the Sunday night service for like 15 years...every Sunday night she was there. When someone was ill, had a new baby or there was a death in the family she was the first one there with a meal for the family. She sent hundreds of birthday cards and notes, to her family members, church friends and missionaries. She was a wonderful mother, a loving wife and a fantastic grandmother. Every year she had a huge garden, canned vegetables,fruit and anything else that could be put in a jar. She was an excellent cook and homemaker. She passed away on October 8, 1987 (their 48th wedding anniversary) and there's not a day goes by that I don't think of my mom. Every St Patrick's Day, when others are worried about wearing green so they won't be pinched, or they are out drinking green beer and acting stupid...I remember that it's the birthday of the most important woman in my life. She would have been 93 this year...she would have been thrilled to know her 6 great-grand kids...ranging in age from almost 17 years old to a little one almost 3 years old. She would be thrilled to know that her 5 grand children are all mature, contributing adults and that all of them love the Lord and have Christian homes like she and Bill did. Until we meet again mom...I love and miss you. Linda