Monrovia Reminiscing
by Pat Ostrye

Mother's Day is coming up fast; 'tis a time for serious reflection. Each generation of mothers seems to present a different image. Since my mother died at age 63, we never did think of her as old. In fact, we thought of her as a person ahead of her time. She and I were both graduated from the same academy in Minneapolis which I thought was unique because I guess I just didn't think of mothers as ever having been teenagers. She even had one of the same nuns that I had.

She always seemed to be taking a course in another foreign language or music history or both. She was busy teaching piano and voice to some of my peers and directed a church choir in another parish on the other side of town, while also singing with the Minneapolis Light Opera Association with a friend of hers. My dad would take us to see the shows which, being musicals, were always enjoyable. My sister Rita is still singing and dancing up a storm in the northern part of the state.

I have three brothers and that one sister which meant Mother had only two of us to sew for and she did. She was so talented, she could whip up a dress in a couple of hours. After we were grown and out of the nest, she took up oil painting. By this time, she and my dad had moved to California and were living in Santa Clara, where she started an art society and had her own paintings in some of the restaurants. Mother always mantained that each of us had a responsibility to use our time productively. Consequently, we never, ever saw her lying around doing nothing.

I joined the Navy when I was twenty, not for excitement but because there was a war on. As it turned out, my mother and I didn't have too many years to gad around together, but we did meet for lunch or go to dinner and a show many times. It was great!! Another nice thing was that she and Pete, my late spouse, got along so well, having long conversations over oil painting (he also pursued that after his retirement) and music. When we would visit, she would get our youngsters started in painting and other artwork.

All in all, I think she had an enjoyble life. My dad was so happy that they had taken a trip to New Orleans, one place she always wanted to visit. When we were very young, I remember they also went to the Chicago World's Fair and were very excited about that. I can safely say that she was a terrific role model and a wonderful mother.

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