Sunday, May 14, 2006

For Mother’s Day – a tribute to my mother!

Charlotte Jane Axton Burgan has been married to that same man, Joseph H. Burgan, Sr., for over 50 years. She has raised three children, me, my brother, Tim and my sister, Joy. Mom and Dad live in the same house that we were raised in which they built in 1959. Mom raised us in the days of innocence. We could walk down the road and out to Null’s Market, almost a mile away without fear of anything happening to us – no abductions, no molesting, nothing.

Every morning that I can remember, my mom got up before the sunrise and would wake us up to get ready for school. Every morning for 21 years, she prepared breakfast for each of us kids and my dad. I can remember going out to the kitchen and listening to Jack Boget on KDKA radio while mom packed my lunch. She says that I was the only one with whom she could talk in the morning because all the others were still asleep even though they were eating their breakfast. So we would chat over breakfast. Then I would pack my stuff and head off to school.

As I got older, I would work in the evenings after school. No matter how late I got home, Mom would have dinner waiting for me. I loved it when she would make chili and leave the pot on the stove to cool before putting it in the fridge. That was when it tasted the best!

Mom made bread and buns at home while I was growing up. There was nothing better that coming into the house after working outside on a cool fall in Pennsylvania and sitting down to a dinner of navy bean soup and home-made bread. The bread would be fresh and hot and sliced about one inch thick. The butter would melt as you spread it on. I hope they are going to serve that kind of bread at the marriage supper of the Lamb. They can ask my mom for the recipe.

The holidays always had a cornucopia of home-made goodies. Chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, pumpkin pie, sugar cookies in the shape of Santa’s face, Christmas trees or stockings which we would decorate with icing and sprinkles of all kinds. The dinners always had turkey and ham, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes and potato salad, corn and green beans, stuffing and gravy, fresh vegetables and cranberry sauce. Of course, no dinner was complete if you didn’t have the horseradish!

It would be impossible to calculate the number of hours that mom spent preparing these meals, nor can I fathom the energy she spent to provide us a safe and comfortable place to call home. In the winter, after playing outside in the snow, mom would get us into dry clothes, give us some hot chocolate then we would lay down in front of a heater vent to get warm and fall asleep, content, without a fear or care in the world.

Those days of innocence are long gone along with too much of my hair but I will always be grateful to the Father of a mom who provided for my brother, my sister and me a safe place to call home.

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