I know most of us lay our emotional struggles at the feet of our mothers - for a few decades at least.
But these late days I'm seeing my mother through new loving eyes -
As I look at these old photographs, though, I have to admit that there WERE some really harsh and negative years.
This picture says it all.
She was only 33. My father was 55.
I was 5.
We'd just left a comfortable city life to drive into the hinterlands of Northern Alberta to 'preach the Gospel' in a tiny town. Mother did not complain when her older husband felt 'called' to this ministry.
Daddy, born in 1885, was never comfortable with the automobile so mother drove the hundreds of miles north in our old Model A Ford with all our worldly goods - and me in the backseat.
We lived in a little tar paper shack behind the church >
Daddy's study was in the tower of the little church.
Look at that prairie snow and me in my snow suit.
Here was our little congregation . . . around 1939. (I'm in the front row 2nd from the left)
Mother carried all the burdens of our humble household, plus supporting the passionate commitment of my Scottish father to his work. This meant trusting that God would provide heat, light and food.
And He did!
It wasn't easy being a pastor's child. And it couldn't have been easy for mother, either. On the day of this picture we had 'important' visitors. Mother, with calm, grim, determination tried to get me to stand still for the picture. I remember rebeliously pulling my hair ribbon down onto my forehead and pushing her controling hand away from my side!
(Note my dreaded and wrinkled 'lyle' stockings - beige, ribbed, too hot, and barely held up by garters!)
We left that ministry after 10 years and returned to the city - where my father, at 65, opened his own bookstore.
Mother was never quite so grim after that.
And I'm beginning to understand why.