Two weeks ago, I was driving to Clayton to a cemetery board meeting….thinking “why did I volunteer for this?” Then, it occurred to me, “why not?” Some of my best memories of being a mom were volunteering to help with something John Michael was involved in….
Wyomissing, Pennsylvania: when no one else would volunteer, I said “yes” to being the Cub Scout Den Mom (only if moms would take turns each month helping me) – many thanks especially to Kathy Everline, who helped at almost every meeting. I fondly remember making dirt cake at the Everline’s after a meeting. I still have the recipe in John Michael’s handwriting. I’ll never forget though that Skip was supposed take the boys to Day Camp – something came up at Walmart, so off I went. Up in the woods north of Berks County, our first task was a scavenger hunt. On the list were mosquito eyeballs, a salamander, and a hemlock cone (state tree of PA, but I had didn’t know what one looked like). WE DID NOT WIN! Add to this list in Pennsylvania was soccer mom, baseball mom, and volunteer mom at Wyomissing Elementary School.
Moving to Tennessee and Kentucky, I soon added Webelo leader, 4-H leader, and Sunday School teacher. I’ll never forget going to 4-H Camp with 4th grade boys and girls! Beautiful camp grounds outside of Columbia, Tennessee….I had committed to teaching summer school at Dickson County High School, so I would get up early, drive back to Dickson, teach until noon and drive back to camp, do my leader duties, and spend the night trying to keep all the girls quiet.
As John Michael got older, I moved up with him…… chauffeuring the golf team to summer camp, chauffeuring JM to help little kids with ice hockey, traveling to Minnesota to hockey camp, cheering at football games, taking refreshments to ice hockey games, and, some of the best times….. accompanying the high school youth group on ski trips.
My last “job” was sharing the title with Skip as co-presidents of The University of Oklahoma’s Parent Association….
So, why would it not be fitting for me to take on the Cemetery Board…..ensuring that the hallowed ground of Stephens’ Cemetery is looked after with care and love. John Michael would expect nothing less of his mama.
Dear John Michael,
Nothing gives more pleasure these days than watching your daddy take care of the resting place of your beautiful body. He takes such care as he mows and weedeats, then cleans the Blair and now Gore monuments. I know that you are watching as we visit the peaceful surroundings of the Kiamichi Mountains and Potato Hills – we feel your presence with us. Your Aunt Karen and I will serve proudly in yours and PaPa’s honor.