Written in honor of my mother
who gave me life,
loves me unconditionally
and inspires me to grow old gracefully.
My dad had started a business called Schrock Small Engine, Sales and Service. He sold and repaired lawnmowers, tillers, chainsaws… After he was diagnosed with cancer my mom worked alongside him and by herself on the days when he was not able to help. One day, knowing the extent of the illness, he asked her, “When I’m gone, will you continue the business?”
“Oh, I couldn’t,” was her quick reply.
Mom told me that he looked her in the eye and quietly remarked, “You can if you want to.”
That comment changed the course of history. When my dad passed out of this life and into Heaven, I was four and a half years old. It was 1968 and my mom became a widowed mother of three preschool aged children, the sole owner of a business and a mechanic in her own right.
The shop was located less than six steps outside the side door of our house. Mom sang us awake and fed us breakfast and was out in the shop by eight o’clock every morning five days a week. She locked the doors for an hour at noon while she cooked and we ate dinner. At five the doors closed for the night and we had supper, Mom often returned to the shop in the evening to finish the repairs. (While we were young an Old Order Mennonite girl lived with us and helped take care of us children and do housework.)
This is the atypical Old Order Mennonite Mother I grew up with. Making her way in a man’s business. A feminine touch in a greasy world.
Partially reblogged from: http://www.circleletters.blogspot.com/2012/02/i-was-born-loved.html