Monday, March 21, 2016

Remembering Irene S. Flake on her birthday

Dear Brothers and Sisters, my children and grandchildren,

     My mother, Irene Stratton Flake's birthday was on March 18th.  She would have been 109 years old.  I want to preserve her memory.  Here are some of my memories of my mother that I am thinking about on her birthday.   These are in no particular order but just as I think about them.  

   Celebrating my youngest brother's birthday on the same day as our Mother's birthday and the day after the Relief Society celebrates it's birthday.

   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, being his scribe, etc.  ·
   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, etc.
   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—bookstore, picking up and delivering dry cleaning, writing for the newspaper, ordering movies for the twice weekly ward theatre, etc.  ·

   Mother was always interested in our activities—I remember all her help when I was married and coming back to Chicago to help our when my first baby was born.  She was always there for all of us when we needed her.
  Mother was the one that wrote us each week while we were on a mission, at BYU,  and away from home. Daddy would sometimes tell her to tell us something but she was the one that kept the correspondence going.
 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. 

  One of the biggest motivations that I had to do well was the motivation to make my mother proud of my activities.  I always enjoyed reporting in to her and wanted to make the report a good one.   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.   
 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 to get her teaching certificate. 
 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, etc. 
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. 
 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.  ·
 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, performing for the family in the “lodge”, etc.   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. 

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.

 Some of my family has commented that I am looking more like my mother every day.  This is to be 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.  Thank you Mother and Daddy for your great example and for the  great heritage you left all of your posterity. 

I hope that  my brothers and sisters, children and grandchildren  can feel my love for each one of you.

  Lots of love now and forever,                                               

Lavona Flake Richardson

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