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My Parents Were Tough… John Wayne Kind of Tough

Waking with a migraine is common for me.  Thankfully today, I have medication here at home.  I can only get 4 pills with a $10 co-pay each month.  Sometimes I wait to take a pill to be sure it is a migraine because the medicine is so expensive.  I can get more than 4 pills in a 30 day period, but if I do…it’s at a cost of $10 a pill.  If you are in a lot of pain though you’ll pay anything to end it.  I started getting migraines in my late 20’s.  My Mom and most of my sisters get them too.  My son also gets them.  Sometimes for me, the pain is so bad I have to go to the E.R. for relief.  I think I’ve had to do that about 20 times in my life.  Once while visiting NYC and once while in Iowa at my husband’s class reunion.

My Mom would occasionally talk about having a “sick headache” but I don’t remember seeing her in bed with it.  She was tough.  I am a wimp in comparison.  When these headaches hit if they are really severe, I would crawl over hot coals to get relief.  She never went to the pharmacy for hers.  In fact, she rarely went to the doctor.

I have occasionally had a migraine while training for the half marathon.  Once even went on a run with the remnants of such.  However, I have never had one the morning of a race…hopefully never will.

I think of my parents a lot these days.  Their simpler way of life.  As we move through this “new economy,” I think about all the things they did without and while raising 6 kids.  Below is a pic of when they were dating.

We didn’t buy soda – instead we would always had tea with meals or water.  My Mom drank coffee.  There was no auto ice maker – we filled empty milk cartons with water and froze them in our large freezer.  Then when it was needed, you would grab one and bust it up on each of its 4 sides with a hammer and then pour ice chips into glasses.  I didn’t know what spray starch was till I got married… we used a shaker filled with water.  The auto dish washer was purchased when I was in high school.  I was the 2nd youngest of the 6.  The dishwasher had to be rolled over to the sink and connected to the faucet which also tore up the floor.  Later on they bought a built-in model.  No air conditioning until the window (2) window units purchased while I was in high school.  No convenience foods.  We fixed a lot of chicken, squirrel, rabbit and beef along with potatoes, slaw and other such vegetables.  My Mom did buy refrigerated biscuit dough though.  There were 6 kids growing up in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home that my Dad added a rec room onto and then converted the attic into 2 bedrooms too.  We made our own Halloween costumes – nothing store-bought.  Early on, our Christmas tree was a Cedar that my Dad would cut down from our Uncle and Aunts farm.  Years later we purchased one from a local tree lot.  Mom and Dad did without a lot of privacy too.  I realize such now when Jim and I need to talk about something that we don’t want Alex to hear.  Mom and Dad had no such luxury.  We also had a kitchen sink that was on a Northern outside wall thus allowing for the pipes to freeze every so often which was major in our house.  We ate our dinners around a large table that took up most of the space in our kitchen.  In the summer months, the window fan would be roaring to pull the heat out of the kitchen, in unison with the exhaust fan from the stove that came on automatically to protect the newer microwave positioned over the very hot stove.  I can’t imagine how unbelievably hot my Mom must have been those days as she fixed those meals.  We spent a lot of time after dinner washing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen.  The neighbor kids always were wanting me to come out and play after dinner.  I did but only after dishes were done.  I usually dried when I was younger than graduated up to washing later on.  Mom rarely bought much for herself and Dad never did unless it was absolutely necessary.  Dad even took an extra job to help pay for the Catholic education for all six of us.  He hauled mail – getting up at 2 am and meeting the train to get the mail then transporting it to another location.  Then would go to his full-time job at 7 am as an administrator at the Missouri State Library.

Mom and Dad were “John Wayne” kind of tough.  Riding a horse with reigns in teeth while shooting 2 heavy guns running at top speed towards the “bad guys. ”  The bad guys to them though weren’t bank robbers, for them it was…inability to provide a Catholic education for their family along with basic needs.  Therefore they constantly gave up comfort for such.

They made so many sacrifices.  I wish they were here so I could tell them how much I appreciated all they did to give us the best start to our lives.  Moreover, I realize now more than ever that we would do well to immolate their simpler life and sacrifice more – pushing ourselves harder.

Also, my Dad, who was an avid biker,  would get such a kick out of my half marathon training and events.  He would probably call every day wanting to know how far I went and how long it took me and then share with me what vitamins and supplements I should be taking and why.

Sometimes when our perspective is changed we can manage more, endure more sacrifice and be better stewards of our resources but more importantly, set the best example for our kids and the World.

I hope you have a wonderful day and in the style of my parents, I’m going to push harder and give up more for others.

Have a great day!

One comment on “My Parents Were Tough… John Wayne Kind of Tough

  1. Dolores says:

    Good Post, liked the pictures. It brought back a lot of memories. They were inspirational people. They would be proud of all your accomplishments. Keep pushing!

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