Lela Eugenia Clark will celebrate her 95th birthday this Saturday, December 19. She hasn’t won a Pulitzer prize, or found a cure for an incurable disease, or even received a gold watch from her employer, but she raised five children, nurtured seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. I am the second child.

Happy Birthday Mom

Mom has been very active all her life until the last year when she had a small stroke and now lives in a Nursing Home.

I have not seen her since May and am looking forward to seeing her at Christmas.

In tribute of her upcoming birthday, I am going to share some of her strengths.
Lela Clark could whip up a costume at a moment’s notice. She was a great seamstress whose  creative imagination was always at work. When I was still preschool age, for Halloween Mom made my sister and I Peter Pumpkin Eater and his wife. I was the wife in a pumpkin shell. I do not remember how she made the shell but I do remember it was as big around as I was tall. Both my sister and I participated in figure skating, which meant lots of costumes every year. She always knew what was in fashion, and sewed an entire wardrobe for me to begin University.

Lela contributed to her community. For most of my school years, Lela was the superintendent of our Sunday School. She organized all the classes and crafts, scheduled the teachers and arranged for the music. Like everyone in our small town, she contributed to the church’s fowl suppers in the fall. She was a member of the Eastern Star, participating locally and internationally.

Mom was a good athlete, flexible, strong and coordinated. She excelled in both curling and shuffle board. It was common for her to bring home a trophy from whatever sport she played.Not only was Mom a great athlete but she was a loyal and noisy fan. While she and dad were snowbirds, they attended spring training games in Phoenix. She came to love football in the recent years and is a Riders fan. Whenever there was a family member playing anything — baseball or hockey she would enthusiastically cheer. She made no attempt to be nice to the referees and once she was even asked to leave the game because she had been boisterously disrespectful to an umpire! 

Lela’s family is most important to her. For several years she kept in touch with those of us who live far away via Skype. Now that her eyesight is failing, she can no longer use Skype. I miss the everyday conversations. 

Since the spring Lela has resided in a Nursing home in Saskatoon. Her eyesight is fading and watching television no longer brings her joy. Both my younger sister and I will be in Saskatoon for the Christmas holidays.  I am looking forward to seeing my mom.