Elizabeth had my husband when she was 40 years old. No big deal today, but 47 years ago it was pretty much unheard of. For a woman who had originally been told that she wouldn't have ANY children, finding out she was pregnant with her fifth baby at the age of 40 was a bit of a shock. She thought she had the flu :).
She was an amazing, strong woman with more energy than anyone I've ever met. Two days before her first daughter turned one, she gave birth to twins. And this was before disposable diapers and formula. Her house was always spotlessly clean - she even washed her walls twice a year. Does anybody else do that? She was less than enthusiastic about my housekeeping skills, but she got over it eventually :).
When my husband was four Elizabeth reluctantly had to go back to work to support her children and keep a roof over their heads. By the time I met her she had paid off her house and didn't have a single bill. In all the years I knew her, I never heard her complain - not once. She always treated me with kindness and love. When my babies were born, she came over once a week to stay up with them so I could get some sleep. There was no greater gift anyone could have given me.
At the other end of the spectrum, my mother was a very young 23 when I was born. She was the sunny California girl who met my father in college, got married, and had me less than a year later. They certainly didn't waste any time!
My mom is sweet and kind and always there for me when I need her. She's endured a lot of hardships in her life, but she stays positive through it all. She just turned 70 and I hope I'm as healthy and vivacious when I'm her age. My parents retired full time to Arizona and I miss her daily presence in my life very much.
Elizabeth and my mom could not have been any different. My mother turned 40 when I was a senior in high school - my husband's mom gave BIRTH to him the year she turned 40. They had nothing in common - except us. But they were always good friends.
Two very different moms in my life. One is here and one is gone. I love them both very much and I have been so blessed to be touched by their presence in my world. They helped shape the person I am today, and I am very thankful.
Remembering all of that, maybe Mother's Day won't be so sad after all.