Happy Birthday, Mom!
Today, January 9, 2014, would have been my mom’s 93rd birthday. We lost Mom to a stroke in October of 2013, so she didn’t quite make it to 93.
Mom was a member of the Greatest Generation, and our country is the richer for having had her and all of her generation and all they did.
Mom was born in Parkesburg, PA, and lived in Pennsylvania until her family moved to Maryland when she was a young teen. Unusually, for a woman of her generation, after high school graduation she went on to earn a degree in nursing from the University of Maryland.
The attack on Pearl Harbor came when she was taking her final classes for her degree. She and her classmates volunteered for military service, and served in the U.S. Army’s 42nd General Hospital.
Her graduation photo was actually taken on the USS West Point (a naval troop transport ship)! Mom is in the first row, second from the left.
In WWII she was stationed in New Zealand, the Philippine Islands and Australia, and for a short time on a troop ship taking care of the injured as they were transported to the United States. Near the end of the war she served in an Army hospital in the United States. She resigned her commission after WWII upon marrying a handsome young naval officer she had met in Australia–my dad.
Mom raised five children, of which I was her “caboose child.” I’m sure at times she would have gladly fled back to active service to get some relative peace and quiet, with as rowdy a bunch as we were …
She taught me so much, and I was blessed as an adult to have wonderful regular conversations with her right up until her death.
I was looking through some old photos of Mom today, and found one of my favorites, from when she was stationed in Brisbane, Australia:
Makes me smile.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I hope it’s been a great day!