My mother was born with the name of Orlien Mary Hiltz but was raised as Orlien Mary Hafenstein. She was born on May 2, 1927 to Katherine Hiltz. My grandmother was 19 when my mother was born, her own mother had died only 2 years prior to my mother's birth.
I know my grandmother's only regret is that she had to drop out of school during her mother's illness and never was able to go back. I think how brave my grandmother must have been to decide to keep her little fatherless daughter. I'm sure people told her that no one would want her now. Well she showed them all when in 1929 she married her husband and gave birth to two more daughters.
She moved in with her mother and her sister, with her other sister and her husband living downstairs. My mother had to learn how to drive, to handle the finances, to get a job, to do all the things she didn't think she would be doing. She even gave birth to her 6th child on what would have been her ninth wedding anniversary.
She married my father who was a co-worker of her brother-in-law two years after the birth her 6th child. She gave my father three children of her own, with me being the youngest. However, the other two were both born with learning disabilities. Therefore my mother had children living with her until she died in 2002 at the age of 75.
My mother taught me many things, such as being able to do anything I set my mind to. She also taught all her children there is no such thing as women or men's work. That if there is a chore to do, someone needs to do it. She taught all her children to how to cook, clean and to handle finances. She said when her first husband died, she felt loss because she didn't even now how to write a check or balance the checkbook. She did such a good job with the finances, that I had to show my father how my mother did things when she died. And to this day, I had all my family's finances the way my mother showed me.
I miss her as much today as I did the day my husband told me. The only difference is that I found the strength to get through each day. So to my mother and grandmother, Happy Mother's Day, you both have set the standards high and I hope I can be half the mother and grandmother you both were!