Mom's Dollar Bill Legacy

  • I'm fortunate to get some very interesting mail. Here's one that I think will touch your heart and perhaps your wallet.


    My mother had been in hospice for 2 weeks, after sitting with her everyday I was exhausted and spent a lot more time in the drive ups then I thought, during times of extreme stress there are things you don't think about. One of the last days I sat with her and ran to get a bite to eat while the staff did what they had to do, I only had a bunch of $1 bills and had to count them out one at a time instead of just handing over a twenty and discovered just how much I was paying for the convenience of a quick meal for myself and who ever was sitting with me at the time. I counted out 13 dollars, for a cheap day, and realized just how much I was spending, handing over a $20 was easy, counting it out made me think of what I was doing. I should have been bringing something from home and stuffing it in my bag that I carried around with wet wipes to wipe my face, something to read and a few other odds and ends, I live 40+ miles from the care center.


    My mother was one of the most frugal people I've ever known, and preached frugality and the Word to everyone she met, I know with her help she kept many families in their homes by passing on her money saving tips, food from her garden, clothing, toys and other necessities she accumulated when people would give her stuff and tell her to pass it on to someone who needed it. She had been doing this since well before I was born, like her mother before her and I was lucky to have her into my 50's.


    Clearing out her house I found in a bedroom I never went into a closet of clothes organized by gender and size for every season, including barely worn shoes and boots, coats, linins including lots of blankets, toys some still in boxes and canned and dried food items as well as other household things. I contacted some of the families my mom had on a list and invited them over after the family had taken the keepsakes they wanted and with them they brought things that were out grown, not used or needed anymore and stories of how my mother helped them through the best of times and the worst of times. Some were not sure how they would make it without moms constant guidance, advice, items they needed and prayers, I found the room was almost as full when the people left and figured out her secret, moms room was a rotating depository, like a library, people would take and drop off what they needed or didn't need anymore, what was given to them they couldn't use and food.


    Her funeral was as attended by so many, some wearing the clothes provided to them and their children, we weren't surprised that mom touched peoples' lives but the number of peoples. The people at the funeral home even mentioned the number and range of ages of the people at the visitation is not what they expected for a person almost 90, usually they said it was family and what friends were still alive not the variety of visitors that came that evening.


    I wish I could end this with me taking over where she left off but my life is much different then the one she lead, she was a stay at home mom when we were growing up making due with what we had was a way of life. Now it seems to take 2 incomes to make ends meet even using moms timeless tips and tricks with the costs of education, healthcare, housing and etc. , her organizational gene is one I didn't get and I doubt my family would tolerate the constant flow of people in and out of the house. I made another call to some on the list and had them come back and take clothes their children could grow into and clear out the canned and dried food on the shelves and then called the church for the furnishings left and the items in the bedroom so the house could go on the market. I was told it was the end of an era and I think they are right, schools expect children to have laptops instead of spending hours in the library, information is at a touch of a button, instant gratification, 2 cars are needed just to get kids to all the things they need for their college resume, groups they are involved in, music lessons aren't taught by a little old lady down the street for a few bucks to stretch her social security, Dr. visits are a fortune even with the overpriced insurance and a safe neighborhood is costly, gone are the days when someone's mom would watch kids play while you walked to the corner store, when someone had a job for life. Mom and I talked about it often and she blamed air conditioning for keeping people in their houses, kids on the sofa playing video games, no one knowing their neighbor, that maybe a little over simplified but I think it was a start.


    A partial glimpse of my mothers life.
    Penned by anonymous

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