Here is another inspirational post by my mom, Strella Pedro. She just celebrated her 85th birthday, and she felt inspired to write about by the many roles we play as women throughout life. She calls it the Circle of life. In her post, she weaves her own personal story and reveals the roles she has played. It epitomizes the way we all need to take time for quiet reflection and remember how we have contributed to the people around us and hopefully know how valuable we are. Here is her story:
I am finally 85. I don’t know what lies ahead, but, for now, I reflect on my 85 years and how it began.
I was born in 1932 on the island of Hawaii. I was the youngest of 4 children, two brothers who are no longer living and my older sister, who lives in California, who is 97 years old. She and my oldest brother left the islands when I was only a teenager. My dad worked long hard days on the Sugar Plantation, and my mom was the keeper of our home. She rose early every morning before anyone else to prepare our breakfast and lunch for the day. At least twice a week, she would bake bread and the aroma wafting throughout the house would wake me up from my slumber. She cleaned, did laundry, fed the chickens and gardened. She always wore an apron and a dress, and worked from dawn to dusk.
I was in elementary school during World War II. We had to carry a gas mask to school every day or be sent home. There was a curfew every night, lights had to be out at a certain time, and sirens were always going off. It was a scary time, but, I always felt safe in the shelter of my home. In spite of all that was happening, I was a very good student. My parents never helped with homework. But I managed to always have good grades in school. We did not have televisions or cell phones. One of my favorite games was Jacks, anyone remember this ? I also loved to swing on our outdoor swing, and skip rope. If I ventured out to play, it had to be within the ability to hear my dad’s whistle, signaling me to come home. My mom always ordered my clothes through a catalog called Montgomery Wards. I was always the best dressed in school. I loved my mom, and I loved being her daughter.
(Sorry for the blurry pic, this was taken in my senior year of high school)
I met my husband when I was a senior in high school. He had to quit school when he was in the 8th grade. It was very typical back then for a teenage boy to leave school to find a job and help support his family. In a small community, where everyone, knows everyone, I saw him one day and fell in love. It was not uncommon for couples to marry young, but I wanted to make sure I graduated from high school before committing to marriage. We were married shortly after my graduation and remained married for 60 years. I lost my husband and best friend seven years ago. Not a single day goes by that I don’t miss him. He was loved by the whole community for his humor and natural musical gift. He loved and cared for me and our four children with such devotion and passion. I was so proud of what he achieved in life with only an 8th grade education. He worked hard at everything he did, from owning his own business, to becoming a Custodial Supervisor for the local high school, the very one I graduated from. I loved being his wife.
I am the mother of four incredible children. Two boys and two girls. After my mom passed, I moved back in with my dad to care for him and my brother. My children, grew up in a loving healthy environment, often playing the same games I played as a child. I loved my role as mom, and easily embraced all of the ways I learned from watching my own mom. I loved keeping our home clean, and cooking their every meal. I did help with their homework, and completely enjoyed that as well. There are so many clichés about how fast time goes when watching your children grow up. One moment you are holding them in your arms, and next, you are sending them off into someone else’s arms. I loved and still love being a Mother.
There is definitely something special about being a grandma. The love and warmth a grandchild provides is second to none. I think that when you love being a mom, and realize that your children are grown, and you are no longer able to produce any more little humans yourself, having grandchildren allows you to hold, love and nurture again. For me, I have had the blessing of holding and loving 23 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great- grandchildren. My cup over flows. I love being a grandma.
Some are missing from this photo taken just a few months ago at our family reunion.
My circle is not closed and not yet complete. I don’t know what plans God has for the rest of my life, but I desire to continue to love and nurture and be a blessing to all who needs it. Thank you all for allowing me to share.
Wow mom! Thank you for your inspiration and love. I love being your daughter.
Concentric circles, are basically a circle within a circle, within a circle, etc. Each one creates a ripple effect that touches and affects the next circle around it. We may not all have the ability to travel to far parts of the world and minister to people in need. But if we continue to love and care for those within our reach, they in turn will know how to love and care for others. And one day, you never know, a part of the seed you have sown will grow up to be a world changer.
Please leave a comment. God Bless all of you!