Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Mother

On this Mothers' Day 2010 I am reposting a blog I did about my mother on April 14, 2007 just a few months after beginning this Penless Writer blog. I am so thankful for my mother and the upbringing she gave me and the many things she taught me. If you still have your mother with you today Honor her that you may have long life, as The Word tells us.


This 1925 picture is of 5 generations. My mother, her daughter, Marion, her father, A.T. Dickey, her grandfather, and her great-grandmother.

This is a tribute to my lovely Mother, Pauline Dickey Banta Errett. I'm not exactly sure what age she was in this picture but you can see she was quite young and very beautiful.

I am one of those fortunate people who was blessed with wonderful parents. I have written about being a daddy's girl, and that I was, but I also loved my mother dearly.

My mother was born July 2, 1906 in Belgrade, MO., the eldest of seven children of Arthur Theodore & Mable Dickey. She had 4 younger sisters, and 2 younger brother.
At the age of 17 1/2, on December 22, 1923, she married Cyrus N. Banta. Her first child, my sister Marion, was born on July 13, 1925, just 9 days after her 19th birthday.

I don't know the exact date, but my mother became a very young widow raising a young daughter during the years of the Great Depression. I do know that she worked, and traveled, as a Nannie for a very wealthy family from St. Louis, MO. My mother never talked much about it, but one of my aunts told me how much my mother helped them by being in a position to supply them with food and some money during that time.

My mother married my father, Henry Harrison (H.H.) Errett, on September 19, 1935. He would be 50 years old 4 days later on September 23rd, she was 29 years old, and my sister, Marion, was 10 years old. I came into the story 2 years later on December 25, 1937.

My mother had "spunk"!! One of the tales they tell about her was during those 2 years before my birth they were living in Brownsville, TX. My father had purchased a small rental unit. One of the units was occupied by a man who "hit the bottle" (nice way for saying was a drunkard) and had not paid his rent for several months. My father was unsuccessful, no matter what he said, to extract the rental payments from this man. The day my parents were packing up to leave to move to New Mexico they were loading things onto a trailer. My father had an old rusty gun (my mother says there was no way it would have fired) laying there. My mother picked up the gun, to place it in the trailer. She said this "bottle hitter" was standing there watching them and it made her so angry she whirled around to "give him a piece of her mind since they were leaving anyway". Apparently when she whirled around the gun pointed at him and he immediately said, "Okay, okay here's your money!" and promptly paid the entire amount he owed them. I guess he was afraid this 31 year old woman was going to shoot him!!!!

In 1950, my parents had an order in with GM for a new Chevrolet. After the war it was difficult getting a new car. They had waited several months with no results but were seeing other people in Santa Fe, who had placed their orders after my parents, getting their new Chevy. My mother was getting very upset about this and proceeded to write the President of GM complaining and pointing out the apparent "favoritism" being played to those with more money. Sort of hinting that maybe some money was changing hands under the table? We had our brand new 1950 Bel Air Chevy that very week. Boy was it nice, pretty and fancy! Like I say, she was a woman of "spunk".

She was a woman of great GRACE and STYLE. She loved shoes and matching purses and had LOTS of them. She always had shoes & purse in the color to match what ever outfit she was wearing. Because she had only one pair of shoes as a kid she always wanted to have a bunch of them. She did!! She ALWAYS looked nice. Clear up until her death she would daily dress neatly, style her hair and put on a little make-up and lipstick. You could have dropped in on her at any minute of the day and she would have looked nice enough to go out anywhere with you, or welcome any guest to her home.

She was a very INDUSTRIOUS and GENEROUS woman. She kept an immaculate HOME (not a house) and would whip up a wonderful meal for you on the spot, if you dropped in unexpectedly, from just what was on her shelves. She always had dinner waiting for my father and I when we'd come in each evening from school and work. She made a lot of my sister and my clothes, although there was always the BIG, once a year, shopping trip to Albuquerque to buy new school clothes. She made several dresses for my forever friend, Joan. For Christmas one year she made Marion and I each 3 authentic matching squaw dresses.

She was a woman of INTEGRITY. I remember occasions, when a sales clerk had given her too much change. As soon as she realized it she would load me up and we would go back to return the money. She was a woman of her WORD and you could always count on her keeping her promises and doing what she had committed to.

She was a woman who stayed INTERESTED in life and what was going on. She was an avid cross-word puzzle worker. She could talk baseball and football with the best of them and watched many of the games. She was a good and faithful friend. I could go on and on about her many qualities.

One of the things I admire the most about her is, after living in Santa Fe for over 35 years, after my father died she was willing to pull up stakes, sell her home, leave her beloved Church, leave all her friends and move to Tulsa, OK to be near us. She then proceeded to become just as involved and interested here. Became a very central figure in our lives and family, made new friends, joined her Church and lived happy fulfilling years.

In 1982, as her health was starting to fail, my wonderful husband converted our 2 car garage into a separate apartment for her. She had a living room with bay window and it's own private entrance, a small kitchenette, a large bedroom with walk-in closet and a full bath. It also had an entrance directly into our house. It was a perfect living arrangement where we each had our privacy but yet she was a very integral part of our lives and family. In March of 1985, as her health was really failing, she wanted to return to New Mexico. We rented our Tulsa home and moved her, us and our 14 year old son, Marc (the other 3 older kids were grown) to Albuquerque. My sister proceeded her in death by 5 months and 6 days. My mother grieved terribly over that. She died on May 27, 1986 just 45 days before her 80th birthday.

My mother was a very strict disciplinarian. At times growing up I felt she was too strict and harsh on me. It was not until I became an adult that I realized a great deal of this was to offset my father's tendency to spoil and over indulge me. She loved me enough to not allow me to grow up a spoiled brat!!

I am who I am today because of my wonderful parents.

I am SOOO thankful for all they taught me and I miss them.

This I know, We will all be united some day!


PortraitofPeter said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and amazing story of your dear mother also in seeing the photo's too.

Blessings for a wonderful weekend.

RoseMary said...

What a wonderful tribute to your Mom! She raised you well. Thanks for sharing the story of her life.

Linds said...

Thanks for telling us all about your mother. She sounds like a wonderful inspiration for you.

Momma Roar said...

What a firm and solid foundation you had Susan, no wonder you are such a strong and beautiful person today.
I love the stories about your mom's spunk! My kind of gal!!
I'm so glad you followed your heart to post this sweet tribute - it is sure to be a blessing for many, including your children and grandchildren.

Steffi said...

Beautiful pictures and of course wonderful memories and tribute to your Mom!Thank you that we can read your story!
Have a nice weekend!

Our Peculiar Life said...

I loved reading this Susan. I feel like I knew your mother now. (I already felt like I knew your dad after that post) love hearing about your mom's different personality traits. You wrote this beautifully!

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

What a beautiful story! I love that your mother had "spunk"! Sounds like you had a great childhood and have carried that on to your adulthood. What a great husband too, to make room for your mom, not alot of husbands would do that! What's it like to be a "Christmas baby"?

Trella said...

Wow! What a wonderful mother you had. I can see why you are such a special person today.
Your mother was very beautiful. What wonderful picture of her to have.
I will have to go read the post about your dad.

jennifer said...

Wow! I am in awe. Thank you for sharing ,I see your eyes and nose the same as your mom's, you must look like her:)
p.s.My husband is a Christmas Baby too!

Lori B said...

That was a neat tribute to your mom. She sounds like she was a wonderful mom.

PEA said...

She was indeed a beautiful woman...inside and out! I so enjoyed reading about your mother...I giggles when you talked about her spunk, good for her! hehe You have so many wonderful memories of her and she lives on in YOU!! xox

David Joyce said...

I remember so many things about grandma Errett, but above all I remember that she was a born raconteur and told the funniest stories I'd ever heard even to this day. I have right here at my side the photo album she gave me on my 16th birthday as well as the coin set minted in the hear of my birth, which she dated and signed. That woman knew a thing or two about remembrance.

Much love from California,


retha said...

How wonderful to read what her grand child is saying about her!

Mari said...

What a wonderful tribute to your Mom. She sounds like an amazing person. I know she raised an amazing daughter, who has followed in her footsteps. You know - that would be what she would want!
Happy Mother's Day!

Just Mom said...


Happy Mother's Day.

Sandra said...

I appreciate your story about your mother. Someday soon you can introduce the two of us in heaven. Then I can tell her some funny stories and some precious stories about you.

Oklahoma Granny said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mother. You were very blessed to be raised by such loving parents.

Tiffany said...

Such a lovely tribute on your mom. I'm so glad you reposted it. I hope you are also having a wonderful day with your family! Blessings!

Debra said...

Beautiful tribute to your Mom!Hope you had a wonderful Mother's day!

Pam said...

That was a beautiful tribute to one special lady. Susan, I can see you favor your mother both physically and in character. I hope your day yesterday was great!

Sharon said...

Thank you for sharing that tribute of your mom with us.
Have a great day.