Who can find a virtuous woman?

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck, Editor


I'm a realist. I always have been. I see things for what they are, not for what they could be or should be.

That doesn't mean I don't wander away or give in to daydreaming. It does mean that when all the cards are laid on the table I see that my lonely deuces don't beat the full house no matter how badly I want it.

And that means too that I see the faults in the people I love, just as I face my own idiosnycrasies.

I know my children aren't perfect. I know they each have character flaws and physical imperfections just as we all do. After all, no one is perfect.

But my mother was darn near close.

As Mother's Day gets ready to turn the corner Sunday, I am reminded of the woman who gave me life.

My mother didn't say a lot – to anyone. She had her father's personality – quiet and humble. She never wanted to be the center of attention and always skulked behind my outrageous, boisterous father.

She never worked outside the home. Her job was more important than that. She took care of the house, cooked all the meals and reared three children. 

She didn't have much time for anything else, although she would sneak in "General Hospital" every afternoon and occasionally do a word search puzzle.

She always put her children first, whether it was who would get new shoes or have the last piece of apple cake. I knew her 41 years, and in that time she never had a new winter coat despite the bone-chilling snows and ice we had every winter in the mountains. Come to think of it, I don't remember her having a coat period. Money was scarce back then, and if anyone was to get a coat that didn't come from a "rag shake" held by the missionaries at the "mouth of the holler", it would be my brothers and me.

She managed the family finances, and even when there was no money, she could eke out a dime so I could have spending money at school for a bottle of pop and a candy bar.

She didn't gossip. If she had a wild, crazy side, I never saw it. She minded her business, and her business was her family.

And still she wasn't perfect. 

She turned the cheek all too often. She occasionally martyred herself. She trusted everyone, even when they didn't deserve her trust.

But she loved unconditionally. 

She never wanted anyone to be anything they weren't and even if she disapproved of choices or lifestyles, she still loved, without reservations or conditions.  

That's the sign of a good, no, great, mother. And that made her perfect. Or close enough.

Happy Mother's Day!



Carolyn Ten Broeck, the daughter of Glema Hall Roberts, is editor of the  Williston Pioneer. Reach her at editor@willistonpioneer.com