This One’s for You, Mother

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Today, November 30, 2010, marks the six-year anniversary of Mother (Marion Gunderson) passing away.

Although Mother sometimes gave the appearance of being prim and proper, those close to her knew she was fun (e.g., as I explained in my Priscilla’s of Boston post). And, she was a great listener. Also, she worked to educate her six children beyond our formal schooling, but repeatedly said, “It doesn’t matter what you know; what’s more important is when you need information, you know where to find it!” True blue Marion the Librarian!

Since starting this blog, I’ve spent so much time researching history that I sometimes wonder if I miss elements of the present. That’s made me wonder if Mother ever felt that way. Then I realize how empty-handed (as far as knowledge of our roots) our family, and the Rolfe community to some extent, would be if Mother hadn’t conducted her extensive genealogical and community research.

Recently I received the advice that researching the past is good as long as a person mixes it up with the reality of the present and also with helping mankind move forward. Clara’s (my oldest sister) post from a year ago shows that Mother did exactly that: loved helping others connect with the past, mixed it with reality of the present…and quietly helped so many people move forward. If you missed it last year (or even if you read it) I hope today you’ll read Clara’s endearing post “Remembering Mother — Marion Gunderson.”

In this photo Mother is getting painting supplies ready for 1987 Christmas-time painting with six of her seven grandchildren at Gunderland. L to R: Mother, Abby, Jonathan, me, Josh and Katie. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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Works of art in progress! L to R: Tim, Katie, Josh, Abby and Christina. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

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5 Responses to “This One’s for You, Mother”

  1. Patti Collett Says:

    Louise, Thank you so much for re-posting Clara’s story about your Mother. I missed it last year, but certainly enjoyed it today. I’m sure this is a bittersweet day for all of you. Thanks for sharing. Patti

  2. Peg Moore Says:

    I *love* this post, Louise! Just love looking at the photos of Mother, the grandkids, and the paints. Quintessential Mother. (Heart!) And I love how you incorporated the “Now Is the Time” tile (and your musings that dovetail perfectly). Such a familiar sight, and yet I hadn’t made the connections. Beautiful. (Heart!)

  3. Peg Moore Says:

    Oh, and the seven (grandchildren’s) stockings! 🙂

  4. Louise Gunderson Shimon Says:

    Patti: Oh, your words are so kind, and “bittersweet” is the perfect word. I know that every person (or almost every) has the same feelings about his/her own mother; it is just so thoughtful of you to kind of let us have our “own” day by commenting about Clara’s (and the rest of us kids’) Mother on this November 30th. Thank you.

    Peggy: Yes, I LOVE looking at the lineup of stockings that Mother got (had made) for each of her grandchildren. Oh, and thank goodness you took those photos. Can you imagine if you hadn’t and/or didn’t share them and/or we didn’t have them at all?

  5. Clara Hoover Says:

    Louise: I love your post–the way you captured Mother’s spirit and how much she enjoyed sharing her talents with her grandchildren and encouraging them to develop their own talents. I love the pictures. And thank you for reminding me of my post from a year ago. I enjoyed rereading it and seeing the pictures again. And thanks, Patti, for commenting on that post.

    I like the new banner–Christmas colors with snowflakes that subtly fall all over the page.

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