Our mother, Lila Edith Thias was born November 25, 1916. She married our dad on her birthday in a small rural church a snowy Thanksgiving Day on November 25, 1937.
We are thankful for having had a strong mother who loved us and taught us to love and care for others.
Mom passed away in 2006, with her family by her side.
It’s hard to believe how quickly time has passed since then and even harder to write about Mom using the past tense, because she was always so full of life and energy. She exuded an endless pursuit of learning and teaching throughout her 89 years. In fact, the month before she died, she was teaching cribbage to local high school students, a game she had enjoyed playing over a lifetime.
Of German and Irish descent, Mom was a daughter, a sister, a wife, widowed twice, a mother of four daughters, grandmother of twelve, great grandmother of 28, an aunt, an excellent cook, baker, seamstress and dog lover. She was creative, skilled, resilient, ambitious, a good friend to many, a devout Lutheran and above all else, loved her family dearly.
The photo of her is one we cherish. It was Mom’s 80th birthday. Attendees invited to Mom’s surprise party were asked to bring one flower. Nearly 100 family members and friends gathered from near and far. The bouquet in the photo includes some of the flowers she received that day. Being among so many who loved and honored her made for a magnificent celebration.
After our dad died, Mom held increasingly challenging jobs until retirement. She loved life, baseball, gardening and was an avid reader. On the Heartland trail near her home, she walked a couple miles a day well into her 80s. In inclement weather, she picked up a friend and drove to the high school to walk the halls prior to the start of classes. Yoga later replaced walking and helped her stay limber as osteoporosis crept in.
Mom broke her hip March 15, 2006, requiring surgery. Her recovery did not go well. She required oxygen related to a worsening lung condition and after several failed physical therapy sessions to help her walk, she asked to have all treatment and medications stopped.
Rather than move her to a care facility, we chose to move Mom to her cabin where we could all gather and care for her. With hospice support, we, and our husbands, provided her care.
Joy and profound sadness filled our hearts during those last two weeks as she said her goodbyes to friends, family members and family dogs. Her strength helped us through those last days.
As a child, Mom’s red curly hair and freckles were an indication of her Irish ancestry. Her strong will, work ethic, and attention to cleanliness and order were expressions of her German heritage. But, her love of family was the truest expression of who she was. As her daughters, we were unconditionally loved and were treated to the some of the finest cooking ever, especially on Thanksgiving Day with turkey, and her homemade lefse and apple pie.
Thanks for stopping by and have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Bev, Betty, Barb and Brenda