Many people say theirs was the best mother ever, but mine really was. Or at least the best mother I could have had to enable me to be who I am. For all of the opportunities and accomplishments that have been mine since she died in 1985, I can imagine her support and blessing.
Anna Mae Long lost her parents while still in her teens. Because of this, she married her one true love earlier than planned. She wanted children right away but God in His wisdom let her mature a couple of more years before the babies started coming: three during the Great Depression, two during pre-World War II unrest and a baby boomer after the war was over.
As a homemaker — full-time-stay-at-home-mom, she exhibited her skills for organizing, managing money, for making do and for making everything stretch a little farther. Later,when there were no longer children at home, she used these skills as President of the Woman’s Society of Christian Service of the North Texas Conference, leading women in the missionary efforts of the Methodist Church.
My mother loved the finer things: poetry, literature and music. She had excellent grammar and taught her children to use it correctly. I’m sure we learned mostly by hearing it spoken.
I’m sorry she didn’t have time to write more. I’m sorry she didn’t keep a journal. We had long conversations over the years but I still think of questions I wish I had asked her.
She loved her family. Sometime in the late 1940s she wrote the following poem.
Those are MY Children
Those are my children pictured there … Four precious girls with ribboned hair,
Two darling boys in starched shirts and ties, Six dear angels in disguise.
Six million dollars they represent! Each one to me the Lord has lent
To keep awhile. And I must take care To train them well while I have them here.
A mother’s pride in the things they do, Knows each day a joy anew.
The joys so far the cares out weigh, With added blessings to each day.
Yes, those are my children — blessings real, That fill our home with love and zeal;
A scattered sock, a book amiss, A tattered, a juicy kiss.
As Mom to six I have so much A loving smile, a caressing touch
I’d not trade places with a queen And have to miss one little thing!
Sometimes I scold, I will confess, But that does not mean I love them less;
Or that I’d want to be without The memory of one joyous shout.
I thank Thee, Lord, to have the right To bid them each a fond goodnight.
Guide me that my light may shine To link each of their lives with Thine.
Anna Long Alderson