Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tribute to Irene Flake, by Lavona Flake Richardson

My thoughts today are of my dear Mother who was born 107 years ago today.    I am blessed to be born of goodly parents who as a child taught me the gospel in our Home Nights and by their example.  Some of my family has commented that I am looking more like my mother every day.  To me this is a great compliment.  My hope is that I can live my life so that Mother and Daddy will be happy with my activities and that I can endure faithfully to the end of my life like they did and that all of our posterity will honor their name and their lives by the way they live their lives.  

Mother had such a great influence on my life. I have so many memories of my mother.  I want to list just a few of them.

   1.   The great love that Daddy and Mother had for each other and the joy they had being together.  They liked to go on trips together and my memories are that Daddy always came first in her life.  Mother always did everything she could to make Daddy happy—fixing special meals when he had stomach problems, traveling with him, and being his scribe.  

  2.  Mother was always interested in our activities—I remember all her help  when I was married and coming back to Chicago to help me when my first baby   was born.  She was always there for all of us when we needed her. 

   3.  Mother was the one that wrote us each week while we were on a mission or at BYU and wherever life took us.   Daddy would sometimes tell her to tell us something but she was the one that kept the correspondence going.

    4.   Mother and Daddy came and picked all of us up from our missions when we had successfully fulfilled our missionary assignment.  They let us know how happy they were that we had served well.    

     5.  One of the biggest motivations that I had to do well was the motivation to make my mother proud of my activities.  She made me want to be as better person so that I could give her a good report of my activities.  Even at 95 years of age she was interested in each one of her children, grand children and great grandchildren.  She knew each one of us and our activities.  She loved to visit about what we were all doing.  

     6.   Mother was a great helper to Daddy when he served as Bishop—she helped with tithing settlement from the big desk in our living room, gave parties to the servicemen when they came home on furloughs, and any other activity.  They always worked together.
      7.    Mother had several businesses that she ran from our home where she could first be our Mother and then add to our family income and give service to others.  She had a bookstore, picked up and delivered dry cleaning, wrote for the newspaper, ordered movies for the twice weekly ward theater and  many other worthwhile activities that enriched our lives.

       8. Mother had a keen mind—just a month or so before she died she was saying the Articles of Faith and naming the presidents of the church.  She would go down listing all her grandchildren and great grandchildren and knew them all by name.  She graduated top of her class out of High School and in those days not many went on to college.  She worked hard at NAU to put herself through college and get her teaching certificate.   She enjoyed teaching and taught all of us.
        9.   Mother was a people person.  She had lots of friends and always remembered what they were involved in and would visit with them about their interests.  She knew everyone.  I could ask her about anyone and she would know if or how they were related and their interests.
        10.  Mother loved the temple.  She enjoyed her temple friends and being involved.  She especially liked to help with the new brides, and liked to help with the temple weddings of her daughters and granddaughters. Even though she didn’t speak Spanish she learned the temple ceremonies in Spanish and made lots of friends with the Mexican people that would come to the temple.
         11.  Mother loved books.  She enjoyed her home bookstore and always provided good reading material for all of us as we were growing up.  Whenever I had been away from home for a length of time one of my first stops upon returning home was to see what the new books were and made plans to read them.  ·
         12.  I can remember of always having family prayer as we were growing up and home night before it was promoted by the church.  I remember cookouts on the hill, taking lunch to the cowboys and , performing for the family in the “lodge”.     Christmas and Thanksgiving were big holidays in my growing up years.  The races to the tree have been carried down to our children and grandchildren.  I remember the big Thanksgiving dinners.

         13.  Mother was a good cook.  She made great rolls, pies, carrot pudding and cinnamon rolls.   I remember the Saturday night cinnamon rolls after the house was clean and ready for Sunday and we had our Saturday night baths and maybe a movie at the ward movie theater. I remember coming home to the aroma of freshly baked bread.

  Thank you Mother  for the influence you and Daddy had in my life through the years.   Thank you for your great example.  Thanks for all the great memories I have of you and your life of  love and service.

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