Excerpt from a Leaves of Your Life Memoir
Indeed, Mom built her world around us kids. She was committed to creating a strong family and did everything with an eye towards that end.
Eating dinner together every night, for example, was a huge priority for her. The problem, of course, was fitting 12 children into a dining room that could barely hold a third that number.
But when Mom got determined, watch out. As we kids looked on, Mom, a fairly petite woman, threw all of her weight into a sledge hammer and knocked down the dividing wall that separated the dining room from the play room. She then cemented the floor, laid the tile, and drywalled the area to perfect the new, enlarged space.
And then it was time for the bench. We needed a place to sit, after all, and Mom sawed, sanded, nailed, and stained a long, wooden bench to hold the bottoms of as many kids as possible. Afterwards, with resolute focus, she expertly attached it to the wall.
Dad watched in quiet amazement. “What is she doing now?” he’d wonder aloud. But of course he couldn’t stop her. Nobody could.
When she was done, seven of us would fit on the bench and the younger kids would sit in the adjoining stairwell. The entire family was together for dinner every evening.
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