Today would have been my mother’ s 85th birthday. Ma, as she was better known in the family (and a large family at that with 7 kids , 17 grand and 11 great-grandchildren) passed away suddenly this past January. Some days it’s still hard for me to believe she’s not here . Ma was always there for all of us. She was a woman of great dignity, strength and wisdom who seemed to inspire nearly everyone she met. She was a wife, mother, gardener, maker of amazing beef stew, mac and cheese, iced coffee (with a generous helping of vanilla ice cream mixed in), orange cookies and the best toasted baloney and cheese sandwiches on earth. Irish to the core with a cup of tea always steeping on the counter. Ma went through many things in her life but she was always steadfast in her belief that “life goes on”. She kept a Grandparent Journal and one entry written not long after my first son’s birth sums up her guiding principles in life was when she wrote about him ” May God give him the gifts of honesty, integrity and kindness. Look the world in the eye Wesley and take it on.”
Ma never went to college but had herself and encouraged in all her kids a great curiosity about the world around us. I thank her for bringing me to museums as a kid and for encouraging my chosen career in the history/museum field. She always took an interest in whatever project I was working on and I was always thrilled when I got to show her where I worked. She even attended one of my Connecticut Invents programs a couple of years ago which for me was the highlight of the night.
Was she an inventor? I think so, heck her and my dad raised 7 kids in a small 125+ year old house. Inventors are problem solvers often seeking to make life better for those around them. Ma surely did that. And for that Ma I thank you and wish you a Happy Birthday.
Yellow Roses were her favorite, so with that in mind here’s a Connecticut variety patented in 1933: