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loved keeping the home fires burning while we were at work or at school. As children, my brother Ken and I never came home to an empty house. My mother was always there when we had a hard day at school and needed a hug, or some cookies and milk. She always had the time to listen when I told her about my day at school. When I was inflicted with those nasty childhood illnesses, and confined to bed, she would bring me orange juice when I was thirsty, chicken soup when I was hungry, and would read to me when I could not fall asleep. She always made sure I got my homework assignments from school when I was absent so I would not fall behind in my studies.

Most of her days were spent doing housework, sewing, knitting or crocheting. Many of the clothes I wore to school were made with her loving hands. Other times she would curl up with a good book or a crossword puzzle, until it was time to prepare the evening meal.

On a nice day, you could always find her outside working in her garden. My mother had a green thumb and really enjoyed working in her garden. She had a colorful garden with many varieties of beautiful colored flowers, which gave her much pleasure. She loved flowers, and was especially fond of lilacs. She also grew rhubarb and baked delicious rhubarb pies. When I was growing up, there were wild blackberry bushes in the woods behind our house and along the side of the road. My mother would accompany my brother and me and we would pick buckets of blackberries for a delightful summer dessert. To this day, blackberry pie is still my favorite dessert.

One thing my family had, which is missing today in a lot of homes, was a traditional family dinner every evening and a special family meal on Sunday afternoons, where we all sat around the table and ate our meal together as a family. My mother was a good cook and I miss those delicious pork roasts and fried chicken dinners she used to prepare. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of coming home from Sunday school or church and entering a house filled with the delicious aroma of a pot roast cooking on the stove.

I was born during a time when our country was involved in World War II, and because my father was enlisted in the US Navy as a Seabee, he was away from home, defending his country, during most of my babyhood and toddlerhood. That left my mother alone with the full responsibility of raising me. She devoted all of her time caring for me, taking me for outings in my stroller, reading to me, and teaching me my ABC's. She would turn on the radio and we would sing along with the popular songs of the day, such as my favorite, "It's Been A Long, Long Time." I would mispronounce most of the words, but I really enjoyed singing that song as I rode in my stroller on one of our daily walks to the park. Even though my father


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