Eight large bookcases in my home support heavy medical texts, tomes of biology and chemistry, writing reference books and evidence of broad reading interests through the years. Some might call me a book hoarder. While sorting and rearranging books, trying my best to part with some for a garage sale, I ran across Modern Medical Counselor. Seeing Mom’s “doctor book” interrupted my progress and prompted this blog.
I sat down to read parts of the book that guided her while raising four daughters. I was impressed with the solid basic health information I found in the book published in 1943. Anatomy, bandaging methods, germ theory, sanitation, pregnancy and mental health issues were meshed with information on normal bodily processes, common illnesses and proper exercise. She consulted the text for natural remedies and medical information to help make decisions before calling our family doctor who often made home visits.
Mom was an avid reader, homemaker, seamstress, baker, canner and self-taught nutritionist. A Betty Crocker cookbook and collection of recipes from her mother and the other farm women in the small community of her childhood provided amazing meals. Dad’s stable income from railroading provided a solid income, but Mom’s high school education and reading gave her added skills to keep us well-fed and healthy.
In the back of the book, she recorded health histories and immunization records on all of us. A photo of Mom over my desk reminds me each day of her love and caring over a lifetime. In her eighties, she remained active with senior groups in her community and was teaching cribbage to students when she suffered a fall and died following complications.
At eighty-nine, her mind and outlook were bright, and her spirit strong. She had much more to live for but doubt she left anything undone. She loved her family dearly and with the help of my sister Bev, they published and distributed a book of favorite recipes requested by her family. After her death, we found beautifully wrapped gifts for her two beloved unborn grandchildren she would never know.
In the end, she died as she lived, surrounded by her family in her home on the shores of a peaceful Minnesota lake. Best wishes on Mother’s Day.
Happy Mother’s day to my sisters.