Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Mom: A True Visionary

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My 83 year old mother is visiting us this week. Spending time with her I am reminded how much of a true visionary she is. The stories she is relating and the ones I remember her telling in past conversations highlight this.

She was born into a poor farming family in Hungary, (Seven people lived in a one-room house.)

She came to America as a 10 year old just before the onset of World War II. (Her ship was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat on its return voyage.)

Living in an immigrant neighborhood in New York, she learned English attending public school. (The first months were difficult: it was not a Hungarian-speaking school.)

After graduation from high school, she got a job at the makeup counter in Macy's, and then became a fashion model for the store. (She was stunning...she still is!)

Mom married the man who would become my father, and a few years later found herself as a 34 year old widow with three small children.

The stories continue: many of them I remember as life events because I was there. What distinguishes my Mom is that through all the difficulties she experienced, she always had vision.

Her and my father began an exclusive clothing company, where my Mom designed and made the clothes, later hiring and managing a factory of seamstresses to work for her as my father traveled and sold the product line to high-end stores.

She wanted to be a painter: my Mom makes beautiful creations using multiple mediums and materials. (She presented my wife and me new pictures from her hand this visit.) Mom wanted to write: now she regularly contributes to devotion books.

My mother re-married, had another child, and gave herself to instilling vision into her children. She encouraged us to follow our dreams: "You can be anything you want to be" she would often say. (The result: a Doctor, a College Professor, a Property Manager, and a Pastor.)

Being creative herself, she encouraged the arts in her children. (One of my sisters is a published author, one of us is a songwriter/producer, all of us are musicians or singers.)

And now as she nears her 84th birthday, my Mother, who has a sharp sense of humor, continues to live out a visionary life. She related to me the other day, "I hope I don't die soon. I have too much I want to do."

She paints, she sews, she supports missionary efforts around the world, and she has a prayer list that goes on for pages. Her new "family" vision is for her eight grandchildren, constantly encouraging and challenging them to follow their dreams, to pursue their passions, and to "be anything they want to be".

That's my Mom at 83: a true Visionary!

Question: Who do you know that has consistently been a true visionary throughout their life, and has inspired your vision? Share your thoughts below in comments.
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1 comment:

Diane Shelton said...

There is NO ONE quite like Catherine! This said in a positive way. I have so many fond memories of Catherine - and her love for sewing - she redid my bedroom one visit, made bumper pads for my daughters 1st born, always made the BEST cabbage and noodles-but most of all her love of the Lord. God has given her so many talents and blessings, among them her 4 children. May God continue to bless her and allow her to get her "too much to do list" done!

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