Hi Family and Friends,
Mother's Day is coming up Sunday. I have been thinking how huge an impact certain mothers have had in my life. I guess we all are impacted more by mothers than by anyone else except Diety. I had the most wonderful Mother. I know everyone feels that way. We feel it because we all need LOVE. And the person that we first experienced unconditional love from was our Mother.
My Mother was always my CHAMPION. And I always felt that I was hers. She was sweet and brilliant. I have been blessed by such sweet SMART women in my life. My Mother was a college professor. She set up the campus school in the college of education at IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY. She started setting it up as a second grade school teacher at Whittier Elementary School. She was always a teacher trainer for student teachers from the University. She had her Masters Degree from BYU which she obtained from BYU when the world was an entirely different place. Now there are more women in college than men. The education system produces more doctors and lawyers and professionals that are women than men. Education now is slanted more towards training women than men But when my Mother was going to college in the 1930's it was just the opposite. And she overcame the odds and graduated at the top of her class.
Because of family dynamics Mother, who would have preferred to have remained at home as a full time home maker, went back into teaching. I believe in retrospect it was actually part of an All Wise Heavenly Father blessing everyone's life. She was the best Teacher on the planet.
Elizabeth and I both learned how to be teachers from her.
Our children indirectly learned how to be teachers from her.
She could not only teach students but she could teach teachers. But better than that she could teach teachers how to teach teachers. She did wonderful things in her teaching life. At the time of her death at 63 Dr. June McOmber was in charge of the Elementary education for a county in California and was a much sought after speaker for educational conferences all over the state. She died in a car accident coming back from a speaking engagement.
We held her funeral in a meeting house that she helped to build. In those days the church had three phase buildings for little units out in the mission field. Sonora, California was such a place. They had a small ward that had had some difficulties before she came to town to head the elementary education. The Bishop felt inspired to call her as the Gospel Doctrine teacher. Mother's classes were always so exciting that people told other people and her classes would swell. In those days if a ward had a certain attendance the Church would fund the construction of the next phase. In order to get a full size building there had to be a consistent sacrament meeting attendance of 175 or more. This was back in the day before the block. Members came twice a day to the church. We would come in the morning for Priesthood and Sunday school then we would come back in the evening for sacrament meeting. Because the little Sonora ward had members from many little towns and families that lived more than an hour away from the church the bishop had gotten special permission to hold the meetings all in one block so that sacrament meeting came just after or just before sunday school. Because people were driving from all over that part of California, some of them driving for 2 or 3 hours each way to attend Mother's Sunday School class there were about 200 people who attended the meetings including sacrament meeting.
Mother asked the Bishop every now and again if she shouldn't be released. She pointed out to him that she spent every day teaching and maybe it would be good on the Sabbath Day to do something other than the work she did all week. He informed her that as soon as the Holy Ghost inspired him to release her he would.
When she died she was still teaching the class.But Mother's first love was not her teaching. She always said that the teaching was there to support her real career and that was Mother and Grandmother. She was always there to bless our lives.
My Grandmother Mary Clark Martineau. was another school teacher and another powerful influence in my life. Grandfather Martineau died when I was one year old. I loved my Grandmother and I went almost every night from the time I was six until I went into the service. Ostensibly I went to take care of her. I was suppose to help her to get along. One of my jobs was to fill the coal hopper that fed coal into the old furnace. I was too little to really lift the coal scoop shovel by myself. So, we did it together. I would run the shovel across the smooth concrete floor into the old coal bin. I could get quite a lot of coal into it by running fast and plowing into the big pile. Then, I would drag the loaded shovel back across the floor to the hopper. Grandmother would put her hand on the shovel handle and together we would lift the shovel of coal up onto the door of the hopper and then dump it. Then back I would go for a repeat performance. Grandmother and I spent many hours talking. She would tell me the family history stories and she would listen to me jabber. She always felt that I was someone special. I think that a much greater reason for me to go be Grandmother's "Overnight Child" was the Lord and my dear Mother and Grandmother protecting me from disaster. I was always a little brave and my Father, bless his soul, was difficult. I tended to push back a bit when he tried to do things that I felt could not go. My mother would get me out of the way by sending me to Grandmother's.
Grandmother never said anything disrespectful about Father. She was always pure. There were times though that she taught me a lot by asking some very clear simple questions.
Once when I had had a difficult time with Father He had informed me again of my short comings and he threatened to stop feeding me and to kick me out of his house. I was feeling depressed and vulnerable. Father didn't usually say something that he didn't intend to do. I knew that never had my mother ever crossed Father. That what he said was the law in our house no matter how tough it was. If he said I was out. I was out.
Grandmother could detect my fearful mood. She asked me what the matter was. I told her. She never said a word against my father. And she didn't this time. She asked me, "Howard where did you sleep last night?" Without thought I said, " In my " and then I stopped for a few seconds as my answer flooded my mind with realization, "room" I finished. "And" she continued, "Where did you eat breakfast this morning."
"Here at this table where I always eat breakfast." i said.
"Exactly!" she said.
Grandmother was different from my Mother. she was wonderful in her own way. Both of them were wonderful devoted wives who cherished their husbands and followed their counsel. Both of them were tremendous mothers who gave themselves totally to raise their children.
This brings me to the other mother, the one that made me a father.
Of all of the people that I have known in my life there has never been men who were any more brave than the women in my life. And there has never been one to match the love of my life!
I can't imagine how she had the courage to do all of the things that I saw her do. No one was ever as free spirited, or as fun, or as classy, or as imaginative or as resourceful, or as determined.
I will go over on Sunday very early and meet with Katy and her family. She wants us to wear our pajamas and take burnt toast in memory of those first breakfasts when the children would make breaksfast for Elizabeth and we would go "Wake her and SURPRIZE her" and give her "Such a wonderful" breakfast in bed.
After church I will go back and spend some time there.
I will do what I do when I think of her. And I will know that truly the greatest mother of them all from Eve until now was married to me.