Happy Mothers Day!
Esther, Fanny, Mary, Ruth, Gladys, Evy, Pauline, Mickey, Joy, Norma, Bessie, Alvina, Pearl, Henrietta, Dee, Clara, Clara, Catherine, Corrie, Ruth, Ruth, Hilda, Hester, Margaret, Aunty, Lois, Jean, Evelyn and on and on. These were some of the first names I remember of the "Mothers of Liberty" when I was a child. Please add more and stories as you see fit in the comments section at the end of this entry.
It seemed to me that the Mothers of Liberty shared a lot with each other about home life and raising children. They also learned formally together through Iris McCumber, the Home Extension Agent who shared the latest homemaking insights with these women. On Back Street, the women also shared the knowledge about using weeping willow tree branches for switches to keep the neighborhood children in line. "Go get me a switch from the weeping willow tree, and it better not be too small," I remember my mother saying when I stepped over the line with my behavior.
They could bake, sew and command as needed. They could wait, pray and spew a bit of anger when their volunteer firefighter husbands went into United Fireworks to put out an explosive, dangerous fire. They attended Women's Camp in Clarksville sometimes in the summer (My Grandma Mary Jonas loved to lead the women in singing at camp).
These women were present in our lives and in our community. They taught us by example what mothers are and what they do. They helped us to understand who we are.
On Mother's Day now many of these women are remembered through stories and photos and in graveyards. I just had lunch with Mom (Esther), Mike and Paddy, Patrick and Spencer in Springboro at the China Cottage. Mom wanted to make sure she got vegetables. That's one not so subtle way to get a chance to be 85, eat your vegetables, Folks. Thanks for the example, Mom. Her mother, Fanny Clayton, was wheelchair bound as long as I knew her with severe rheumatoid arthritis but used her swollen hands to make all sorts of crafty items including Christmas ornaments from Meadowgold Dairy tin foil bottle caps and handmade greeting cards. She crocheted doilies and painted knick knacks and a few pictures of her surroundings, including one still hanging on my mother's kitchen wall of Henry Bussey's cows and the IV tree, as we called it. Grandma Clayton always ate vegetables, too.
I remember a song we sang in Liberty EUB choir on Mother's Day, 1960. I reflect on these words every Mother's Day, since Frances Wolf, our director asked me to sing the first part as a solo, which I nervously did. The chorus swelled with love and honor as we thought about the meaning of Mother for each of us. I couldn't find the name or rest of the words on the internet. Who knows the name/ rest of the song?
Mother, Oh let me tell it once more
Tell it that all may know
Tell it, oft though I've told it before
All that to Mother I owe
Tell it gracefully. Tell it tenderly.
Tell how I love you so.
Mother, What other name could there be
Mother, so full of meaning to me
Tend'rest, Dearest, Blessings Divine
Oh how I Love You,
Mother of mine.
God Bless the Mothers of Liberty and the meaning of their love and example for the Children of Liberty.