September 29, 1929

The year was 1929, the year of the stock market crash in the U.S.  But that autumn, somewhere else in the world, was born a little girl, and her parents named her Mary Ann.  She went on to immigrate from Argentina to the U.S. when but a wee girl of 11.  She married, had four children, and lived a full life as a U.S. citizen.  I married one of her boys.  Today is this woman’s birthday.  She passed from this earth into glory in July, and the following tribute was given at her funeral.  Today I wish to honor her again on her 85th birthday.

by Janet Mueller

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

On this day, as we put your body to rest next to your beloved husband, we wish to honor and bless you, Mary Ann Earl, for your lifetime of love and service to your family.

We honor you, Mom, for your courage in coming to the United States, when you were just 11 years old, and learning the language and culture in spite of the barriers.

We honor you, Mom, for your faithful admiration and devotion to your beloved Bert for 30 years and for caring for him until his final breath nearly 25 years ago.

We honor you, Mom, for raising three fine men, Tom, Steve, and Larry, and one beautiful daughter, Marsha.

We honor you, Mom, for extending your care to your grandchildren, Kristie, Jessica, Cody, Tim, Michael, Aaron, and Adam, and now 9 great-grandchildren.

We honor you, Mom, for your hospitality and the hundreds of pots of coffee you served us over the years, for the multitude of Thanksgiving dinners (that always seem to turn out great in spite of your fretting) and for the numerous holidays you made special by your presence and your provision of a food-laden table.  We especially thank you for your lasagna and spaetzle.

We honor you, Mom, for your genuine, heart-felt compassion that you had for others outside the family, who were hurting or in need.

We honor you, Mom, for your ongoing bravery as you battled your multiple medical conditions that had threatened to extinguish your life before your time.  We admire your courage and even the sense of humor you demonstrated in spite of pain and fatigue.

We thank you, Mom, for the years of putting others’ needs before your own, for tirelessly and many times tiredly serving your family, and for never giving up until it was your time.

It is said, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.”  You masterfully modeled endurance…that quality that seems hammered into us at times against our wills but brings the ability to withstand hardship.  You developed layers and layers of stamina and strength that caused you to live a life of patient perseverance, even in the face of tremendous pressure to give up.

Love hopes and endures all things, Mom!  Thanks for showing us.