As some may or may not know, one of the deciding factors of moving to the location and preparedness destination that we chose was because of my mom and dad. They retired from Florida; as my dad would say, “… to get out of the rat race”, some 18 years earlier. I can only imagine if they had not moved – they would have been miserable, as things only got worse with more people coming into the state and the increased traffic congestion.
Instead, my parents opted for a more “get back to basics” lifestyle, they began living within their means, gardening, canning and fixing things themselves. Mom always had a pantry full of food; which I found odd, as it was only the two of them. When I came to visit (emphasis on “visit”); swearing I would “never” live in a place like that (for gosh sake there were only a few stores - one of them a Wal-Mart - that you had to drive 45 minutes to get to!) “Why all the food mom? I would ask. She told me there were times that they could not get out due to inclement weather and so she put food back for just such a time or if someone was sick or injured she could prepare a meal and help them out. Looking back …although there was no specific disaster “events”, my parents were preppers.
When we first relocated, I spent almost every day with my parents, watching and learning; mostly learning, because in my “other” life I did nothing, except work, shop and socialize, and not necessarily in that order. I didn’t cook, grow anything, and what cleaning I did was at a minimal at best; thanks to hired help.
My parents were the sweetest most giving people; my mother especially. I don’t say that because they are my parents, I say that because of what I was told by others. You see after having the honor and privilege of spending nine glorious months with my parents, they were both killed suddenly by someone who ran a stop-sign; no breaks were applied, taking two beautiful people instantly. I was shocked when I arrived at the church where their memorial service was held. I was packed full of the town’s people, local dignitaries, and of course the congregation where they attended. I was amazed; no I was dumbfounded, there had to be over 400 people in attendance and yet these were just two ordinary people – or so I thought. Before, during and after the memorial service people came one after the other to recount their personal stories of how much my parents had touched their lives and the things they had done. There were young people, old people – people of all ages. How could two people; who you would think would be insignificant in the eyes of most, touch so many people?
I was new in my preparedness journey and had hoped to learn all the many skills and drink in as much knowledge as I could from my parents. I watched in amazement as my dad would “MacGyver” things; not willing to go buy a replacement - as most would do, or my mom make a something out of what I considered nothing.
After my parents were gone I had such a need to “do something” to carry on the good works my parents had done, so I began to blog on preparedness and share the things that I had learned, and was learning. At first I felt, “What difference can I make?” After all, I was just one insignificant person in a sea of preparedness experts. That is until one day; while going through some of my parent’s things; lying on an end table next to my mother’s chair, I found an envelope with some writing on the back of it. In my mother’s handwriting was written, “what if and why not. Jean Glover. Concentrate on the regret of not trying – not on the thought that you might fail.” “What the heck does this mean?” I wondered. I did a little research and learned the note was referencing a book by Jean Gloover, “What If & Why Not”. I ordered the book. From that day on; odd as it sounds to some, I knew this was a message from my mother that I was doing the right thing in sharing what I was learning in preparedness with others.
Today is my mother and father’s heavenly birthday. Two amazing people who left huge shoes to fill. I think of them daily and when questioning a decision of what to do or what not to do I ask myself, “What would mom do?”
Happy Heavenly Birthday Mom and Dad!!
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