“On your birthday take some time to reflect on where you have been and all you have achieved”

This message on a 90th birthday card for my mother reminded me of one of Tatianna’s Teachings:  Celebrate extraordinary accomplishments. Celebrate is exactly what we did! I just returned from a three week Midwest stay.  A couple of those weeks were spent in honoring my mother with luncheons, dinners, and an open house.

My sister and two brothers hosted an open house at Trump Heritage Haus—a magnificent 1875 red brick home with three white columns. Over 75 guests attended including some students my mother taught in the 1930s and 1940s as well as more recent years. We set up historical displays of my mother’s teaching career and her family life. One document was a teaching contract from the 1940s. A guest was so excited to see her father’s signature on the contract that she requested a copy from us. Mother’s favorite color is pink and favorite flower is a rose. So you get the picture—pink punch and rose decorated cakes! We presented her a proclamation from the State of Missouri Governor’s Office. We also established a scholarship in her honor. Family members contributed $1500 to start the scholarship, and we will award a $500 scholarship annually for years to come to aspiring teachers. We also presented a cookbook, Recipes from Rosemary’s Kitchen. (More about that in another blog).

Teaching was her passion. She was born in rural Missouri in 1918. She grew up during the Great Depression. She graduated from high school in 1936 and attended Northeast Missouri State Teachers College on a scholarship in 1936-37. My mother began teaching in 1937 after passing a state teachers’ test allowing her to teach in rural schools. During summers, she attended college until she graduated in 1943 with a B.S. in Education, major in Business Education. Over the course of a 35 year career, she taught at rural country schools and town elementary and high schools.

A student from 1943 had this to say: I am sure your teaching helped me snag a job at the bank which lasted for 40 years. For that I thank you, but best of all you were a fun teacher. We have kept in touch and enjoyed a lifetime friendship which I value very highly. I just wanted to express my appreciation for your guidance in those early years, the good times we had and for being a forever friend.

I echo those sentiments. Thank you mother for your ongoing guidance, for all the fun we have when we get together, and for being my forever mother!

Bountiful Blessings!