Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Margaret

She will be ninety-nine on December 4th. She has been in my life for as long as I can remember. There isn't a day that she isn't in my thoughts. A trip  to Ohio is out of the question right now. But, oh, how I want to be there to give her a daughter's hug and kiss. I want to sit next to her and tell her all that she means to me. Oh, how I love you, Margaret Stager.

Me, Brenda, Mom, Peg, Margaret in Michigan
Stager's lived across the field. Every day I looked out the window from our house back the lane to see what was happening at their house across the corn, the wheat, the tobacco, the snow or whatever blanketed the field. If someone was outside, I usually headed their direction. Brenda and I are best friends. We always wanted to build a house between our houses, so we could play together all day and still see the homes of our parents. In retrospect, it was a lousy idea since neither of us could cook or do laundry. Their home was just like mine. Hollie and Margaret handed out discipline but not as much as they did the love. Brenda and I went fishing with our daddies and stood by as they cleaned a mess of fish. I sat in the kitchen while Margaret canned hoping for a taste of her pickles. We were inseparable, and one home was no different than the one next door.

My other Mom and Dad
I remember walking into the kitchen often to see Margaret corraling her daughters around the sink to wash dishes. Their house echoed our own on who would wash and who would dry. When Brenda pulled out her little oven, Margaret watched over us and tasted the little nasty morsels that we baked.  I always knew that Margaret was my mom, too. I knew she would protect me like her own. I knew she would comfort me as her own.

As the years passed, the love I have for her increased....if that is possible. I was as excited to see their house as I was my own when we drove down Neff Road. And, I wasn't home long before Margaret and the girls came to call. The family was united again. I cherish this family. They are a gift to my life.

When my father passed, Hollie told me that he was my father now. I remember wondering if he knew that he had always resided in that spot. He and Margaret were always my parents. I had enough love for two sets of parents.

Blessings come in many ways. One of my best came with Margaret Stager in my life. Happy Birthday, Mom.  I send you a kiss on the cheek and a warm hand on yours. I love you with the love of a daughter's heart.

BTW, if you would like to wish Margaret a Happy Birthday, she resides at the Brethren Retirement Home in Greenville, Ohio.

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