This beautiful birth announcement 90+ years old is a wonderful way to start our train ride.   It tells of Mom's tiny fingers easing the pain of the hearts of her parents and other relatives.   At her birth, Mom was seen to be at the service of her family.   Those of us to whom she gave birth always found Mom at our service:   whether it was her finding our shoes for us as we frantically got ready for school, or reading to the youngest of us as we sat beside her in the big chair next to the bookcase John had made in shop class.

    There are eight of us who know well that Mom did very much with the five fingers she was given.  Her left hand was fingerless, but so lovingly she trended to all our bleeding, scraped knees and eased our upset stomachs and soar throats and other childhood maladies with  the loving touch of a mother.   It is old-fashioned, I suppose, to speak of these sorts of things in a eulogy.   After all, it's one's job description and civic work and offices held and family importance that should take center stage.   And it would here, if we, her children considered these sorts of things greater than the fact that Mom was, is and always will be our mother.

   How many children can boast that their mother has something fresh baked for them most days when they get home from school?   Well, the eight of us could.   And I'd rather be able to boast of that than anything the world might see as a great accomplishment.   Mom was a born mother.

   She cooked, without a microwave, and we can still smell those cinnamon rolls and kolaches baking; taste those French fries that came out of that old deep fat fryer into the big yellow bowls.  Mom scrubbed the kitchen floor on her hands and knees that we sometimes immediately dirtied when we came in muddy from playing outside; washed dishes the old fashioned way and handed them to us to dry; carried wash up and down basement stairs, using a ringer to do the wash in her eaerly days of marriage; carried buckets of water from the irrigation well when the pump in the house quit working; always had candles ready when the power went out during a thunderstorm.  Great things?   I don't know.   What I do know is that they were motherly things, and I consider them great.