Longwood, FL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/09/2014 -- This Sunday is Mother's day. Many will gather with Moms, Grandmas, Aunts and other women in their life to celebrate a day that was first observed in 1908 by a woman named Anna Jarvis who held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. Her mother cared for wounded soldiers on both sides during the Civil War and created Mother's Day Work Clubs to address public health issues (Wikipedia).
One Mom's story is about a woman born in 1918 in Massachusetts. Her parents had immigrated to this country from England and Scotland. Her father was a minister and traveled for his ministry from New England to the mid-west and back when she was a child. She had an older brother and they grew up in poverty.
She graduated from high school at the age of 16 and her father dropped her off on 9th Street in Greenwich Village, NYC in 1935 to start her education at NYU with a total of $1.00 in her pocket. It would take her 5 years to obtain her Bachelors degree in music because of the need to work to support herself and pay for her education.
Upon graduation she taught music and played professionally with a group called the Gloria Trumpeters. She played for the lighting of the "first" Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, New Year's eve in Times Square and in chamber at Carnegie Hall.
In 1943 she joined the U.S. Navy as a Wave and served as a Yoeman 3rd class in Corpus Christi, TX. When she returned home in 1945 she went to work as a bank teller in NYC. Eventually she and her parents moved to upstate NY. Her only sibling, her brother with whom she was extremely close was killed in a plane crash in Liberia, Africa. Her loss more painful than words could express. She married and in the early 1950's had her only child.
Due to circumstances she became a single mother. Her dream had always been to teach school so with assistance from her parents to care for her child she went back to college to obtain her Masters. She started teaching second grade in 1956. In 1958 the family moved to eastern Long Island and to supplement her meager salary of $3500/year she taught the children of migrant farm workers. After two summers of that she started waiting on table for the summer at a local seasonal seafood restaurant. She saved enough to buy a fixer upper home, but had to rent it out for two years so that she and her child could afford to move in. Over the next 17 years she continued teaching enabling children to read, write, do arithmetic and in some cases dealing with speech impediments and behavioral issues. During her child's teen years she took her on camping road trips including all the way across the country, just the two of them and a dog.
She was active in her church, Eastern Star and was constantly volunteering her time and efforts to help others. Her only grandchild a granddaughter arrived in 1972 and by 1978 she decided to retire to spend more time with her family, friends, and interests.
She traveled across Europe and the middle east in her first ten years of retirement and continued her volunteer work at home. She moved to Florida in 1990 and continued helping others there including the purchase of such things as a mattress for someone that couldn't afford one. Ever thoughtful and caring.
She had struggled from poverty to a life not rich in money, but rich in love from and for her family and friends. She was strong, opinionated, independent and nurturing. This extraordinary woman passed from this world in November 2003.
She was my Mom, Daisy Evelyn Alcock Myers. She rests in Arlington National Cemetery - a fitting place for the hero of my life and that of her family, the loving and caring mother and grandmother who defied the odds. Her love was unconditional. Sunday Mom I celebrate you.
Happy Mother's Day