The Strawberry Patch

Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross

By June VanDeGraaff
Utah Nu, Ogden
(from the May, 1949 issue of The Torch)

From the secret place only mothers know, she bought a bit of life. Around this tiny, indefinable something, she built a body into which she fashioned a healthy mind, and, with God's help, a soul. After months of careful planning there was accomplished the world's greatest miracle--a birth.

The years that followed are a myriad of memories that flash on the screen of the mind from time to time, flicker for the length of a smile or a tear, then vanish and wait to be recalled again. Odd little memories--she loved tomatoes and watercress and apple blossoms in the spring and the rich gold and brown of sunflowers. She liked the smell of a new book or a bushel of peaches on the porch waiting to be canned. She wasn't very big, and her hair was long and soft and brown with a streak of gray in the loose waves at her temple. Her fingers were at home with the needle or a fast-moving hook with crochet cotton wound about them. She wore a simple gold wedding band.

Nothing seemed too much for her to do. Hers was the kind of unselfishness and love peculiar to mothers, I guess. She became, as many mothers do, a happy slave to this unselfish love. There was never a woman so busy. Her hours were long and irregular. Many times she was called from her bed to find a pillow wet with a child's hot tears of fear or pain. At such times she was blessed with a power surpassing that of a saint, and troubles were smoothed away and pain eased quickly once inside her arms. And so it remained. As the problems of childhood faded and the harder, more complex problems of maturity crept in, disappointments became more bitter and triumphs and happiness harder won and sweeter. And always she was there, a refuge to run to, always ready with wise advice and consolation or quick praise. Always her hands worked on, busy with the feeding and clothing of the family that was hers. It always seemed strange that babies fit so well in her arms. Her new-baked bread smelled like heaven when the oven door was opened.

Yes, a myriad of technicolor memories flash on the screen of the mind from time to time--and in our hearts we say the things that words are too small and inadequate to express. May we make each day a tribute to our mothers, or the memory of them--and be like them if we can.

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