Mom's Birthday : LUSENET : FRL friends : One Thread

My mother's birthday is coming up at the end of this month. Acutally, I wrote this a couple of years ago, and I think I've posted it before. But Gayla asked if I would drag it out again, so if you remember it, blame her!


Today is my mother's birthday; she is eighty-nine years old.

I've been thinking lately about her life, her generation, and the path of human history she has witnessed. She was born in 1912, into the rush and prosperity of the great Industrial Revolution. America had begun to recover, at least economically, if not emotionally, from the Civil War, and was strangely fresh and new at the beginning of a new century. It was time for a generation willing to put away the past and seek out their nation's future. It was a time of patriotism, pride and promise. It was time for a generation like none before them.

Mother was barely three months old when the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in the cold Atlantic. She was five years old when America was drawn into the first Great War, and twenty nine when her new husband went off to fight in World War II. She was on hand for the birth of both Tupperware and Microsoft. She witnessed the appearance of the automobile on American streets, and the lunar rover on the moon. As a child, the family wagon was drawn by horses. Trains were propelled by steam locomotives, and she was fifteen when Lucky Lindy landed in France. She was thrilled by radio shows, faithfully watched the "Honeymooners", and she has surfed the internet.

She was witness to some of the highest, most awe-inspiring moments of human history, and some of the lowest, most heart-wrenching advents of human kind. The dust bowl, the great depression, floods, fires, and fairs all came and went, and she sent her sons off to school ("your clothes may be old, but at least you're clean"), to church, and to war.

Yes, she was a witness to our history. But more, she and her generation were the authors and actors of all the events of this almost-century. Today, we like to talk about the accomplishments of the baby boomers, the promise of generation X, and the global economy. But we sometimes forget that the real shapers of today's world are members of Mother's generation. They were the dreamers and the doers. They were the artists and architects, entrepreneurs and engineers, motivators and mad scientists. They built cities, smashed atoms, and spread the wealth. They were the New Deal, NASA, and the NAACP. Their accomplishments became foundations for today's society, as their names joined our national legend - Frank Lloyd Wright, Buckminster Fuller, Jonas Salk, Amelia Earhart, or Albert Einstein.

They were, and are, a unique generation. They first visualized the world as a community, related and dependent, one upon another. They fought for the good of their world, sacrificed for the future of their children, and passed on a legacy of learning, peace, and tolerance. I believe history will record them as the most remarkable ingredient in this grand experiment we call America.

Happy birthday, Mom. And many, many more.


-- Lon Frank (, January 03, 2001


Lon, that is both lovely and true.

-- helen (b@r.n), January 04, 2001.

My mom isn't quite as old as yours, Lon, but there's an awful lot of what you say that applies to her, too. Would you be offended if I copied this and gave it to her on her birthday in February? It's excellent!

-- Tricia the Canuck (, January 04, 2001.

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