By Karen Denton, Team Volunteer Coordinator
With Mother’s Day approaching, I feel compelled (and immensely honored) to pen a few lines about the lady that I call Mother. There are so many thoughts darting through my head as to which avenue to pursue in describing someone that means the world to me. My mother, Florence Dennis, is amazing in many ways and if you will allow me the opportunity, I will share some of what I call “highlights” about my #1 lady.
Mother was born on a farm in Grant, located in rural Marshall County, and was one of seven children. There was a baby that died in infancy so she grew up somewhat in the middle, with three older siblings and two younger. Her parents instilled a strong work ethic in their children, as well as a love for God and those around them. They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree so naturally she felt the same things were most important in raising her own two children. She and my daddy married on her 18th birthday and were blessed with 50+ years of marriage before he passed with cancer in 1998. My sister and I had a really good life – with parents that loved each other and us and that raised us in church. The older I get, the most fortunate I realize that we were. Working with HMC – SC for 21 years has affirmed that our simple little life in Grant suited me just fine.
Mother has never met a stranger; she simply loves people. She is a true servant of those around her. She is a marvelous cook and if I were quite the mathematician, the number would be astounding of those that she has cooked for through the years, both in her home and by taking covered dishes far and wide. She is a nurturer for sure. She wants everyone to be happy and cared for. Her caring skills have spilled over in her volunteer work with HMC – SC. She is a blessing to me and so many others.
Mother has a really good sense of humor; my daddy did also so it is only natural that I would appreciate laughter and having a good time. She and I can get so tickled at the least things it seems. My husband snapped some pictures on his phone of her and I sitting on a bench outside a restaurant waiting for our other family members to arrive for dinner. We were “leg slapping” tickled and to this day, do not even know what about. He touched my heart with such a great surprise on my birthday; he had those pictures printed and framed in a collage. I treasure that now and always will.
Mother is an extremely hard worker; she worked in retail at a ladies’ dress shop for many years and also helped my dad with their farm. She continues to do alterations for the public to this day; 87 years young and can rework a wedding dress or formal gown in the snap of a finger. She has two speeds, wide open and even faster than that. She doesn’t know how to sit still – it just isn’t in her vocabulary.
She has taught me so many lessons in my life. She taught me to cook and to drive, how to iron and do housework, how to manage money, how to be strong and independent, how to treat others fairly, how to be respectful and compassionate, how to always go above and beyond my part financially, and how to count my blessings from God. She also taught me to behave; well she taught me but I may or may not have chosen to always listen. Although my daddy constantly supported her in her decisions, she was always the disciplinarian to us. It is a family favorite pastime for everyone to hear about my “spankings” – some came in younger years and some in post teen years. It isn’t everyone that needs whipped with a metal coat hanger at 22 years of age but apparently she thought I did.
I have a magnet that says, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall – I have turned out like my mother after all”. I can only hope and pray that I do; I certainly don’t measure up to her at all yet but I am still trying. I thank God on a very regular basis for my special Mother. Happy Mother’s Day to my #1 lady!