They loved climbing the steps up to the Visitor's Center and back down again, and again, and again. I finally bribed them by telling them there was another bridge coming up!
One of their greatest discoveries...a turtle and a squirrel!
My mom was the first of nine children. She was born in Coleman County and lived in various places including California and Santa Ana and Bangs, Texas. She moved to Odessa following graduation from Bangs High School.
In 1952, my mother married a handsome young man she met at her church, Belmont Baptist Church. Together they raised five children in a warm, loving, Christian home. They enjoyed life together, experiencing joys and sorrows, good times and hard times, and their lives were a testimony to their faith. My daddy went to be with his Lord on March 24, 2001, just about a year shy of their 50th wedding anniversary.
On Saturday, May 30, 2009, we celebrated Mother's birthday with a party at her church, the same church where she met her sweetheart, raised her children, made many friends, and influenced numerous lives. It was a fabulous event with over 100 guests, friends and family who loved my mother. I asked my mother if she had ever had a birthday party before...she had to stop to think before saying no, she had never had a birthday party. How sad that she had to wait 80 years to have one! She was a professional cake decorator and made many birthday cakes, including cakes for her grandchildren. One of her granddaughters, Marla, who has become a cake decorator/pastry chef herself, made the cake for the birthday celebration. We will celebrate again in July at our West Family Summer Christmas when all the kids and grandkids and great-grandkids are together.
I recently completed Blessings from the Heart: A Woman's Legacy. In that study, we learned the importance of writing to thank those who have blessed us and to encourage those who need a ray of sunshine. I remember compiling a memory book after my daddy died, a book of remembrances and memories written by those who loved him. I decided I wanted to write my thoughts down for my mom before she was gone. This is what I wrote to her...
I am who I am because of you and Daddy. Although many people have helped
shape me and make me the woman I am today, you and Daddy gave me the foundation
and basic principles needed on which to build.
You blessed me first by being a Christian yourself, and by marrying a
Christian man and committing yourselves and God to raise your children in a
Christian home. Growing up, I jst took it for granted, figuring everyone had
what I had and was raised like I was raised. As I got older, I realized that was
not so. As I got even older, I realized how privileged I was to have been raised
in a Christian home by two Godly parents.
You blessed me again as I watched you serve God in our home and in our
church and in our community. I know how to serve others because you modeled it
for me. I know the importance of giving your time and energy to the church and
to others because I learned that from you. I know God teaches us to love others
as He loves us, because you taught me that most basic concept. You continue to
bless me as I watch you continue to serve God by loving and serving
You blessed me when you loved me unconditionally. I know there were times
when you were unhappy, angry, or disappointed with me...but you always loved me.
And I always knew that. You modeled God's unconditional love so well that, when
I have gone through struggles of my own, knowing I have made Him unhappy or
angry or disappointed, I know He still loves me and always will.
You have blessed me in so many ways I cannot even begin to list. And you
continue to bless me! And I want to say thank you. Thank you for being a loving,
caring mother who has always been there for me. Thank you for showing me what it
is to be a Christian mother...a Christian woman...a Christian. Thank you for
blessing me and passing on an amazing legacy to me and my children and
I love you,
And of course all the normal, busy everyday things. BUT, I'm catching up tonight! So stay tuned!