A Tale of Two Mothers

Monday, May 2, 2016


My mother died in December, and my mother-in-law is under hospice care. With Mother’s Day coming up, this is a good time to reprint a post from May 14, 2012. I have updated the pictures and changed the text slightly, but the substance is the same.
A Tale of Two Mothers 

My mother-in-law and my mother lived two very different lives. 

Mom Camp was born in Youngstown, Ohio but moved to “The Region” in Northwest Indiana as a child. She married a region native and continued to live there until she and Dad retired to Missouri. 

My mother was born and raised on a farm in Iowa, but she moved frequently during her years as a minister’s wife. It was only after Daddy retired that Mama got to settle down again. 

Mom Camp rarely traveled and never needed a passport. In her later years she and Dad took vacations to Hawaii and Puerto Rico, but those were the only times she crossed an ocean. 

Mama knew she had married a man who loved to travel, and getting a new passport became as common as getting a new driver’s license. When I was a child we started counting the number of states and countries we visited, but at some point we lost track. We even lived in Amman, Jordan and Edinburgh, Scotland, traveling around the Middle East and Europe during vacations. After my parents retired, they often wintered in a small town on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where they volunteered their time and talents at a Presbyterian school. 

So Mom and Mama lived two very different lives. 

On the surface. 

Where it matters most, however, the two mothers could be twins. 

Both have always been strong Christian women. Both were active in their churches until age and circumstances intervened. Both worked hard all their lives and taught their children good Christian values. 

And both have children and grandchildren who appreciate what the family matriarch did for them. 

The first picture shows Mom Camp with four of her five children this past Christmas (2015). 

The second shows my mother with my oldest brother, my daughter, and my son-in-law on her 96th birthday, June 19, 2015. 

I’ve thanked both of them, but probably not often enough. 

If your mother is still living, make sure you thank her this Mother’s Day.

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