Barbara Elam Ferguson is an amazing woman and a wonderful mother. Mom married Allen Ferguson at the age of sixteen and had her first child, a daughter, at eighteen. She had her second daughter at age twenty and a son at age twenty-two. Shortly after having child number three, she became a widow. Daddy was killed in an auto accident and mom never remarried.
She worked so hard to raise three children alone. I remember helping her garden and can peaches, green beans, and corn. We ALWAYS had a hot meal on the table and plenty to eat. We never went to bed hungry.
Mom sat up at night sewing to make us nice clothes. My sister and I always had a pretty gown and nightcap to match. She also made beautiful doll clothes for our barbies at Christmas. We never had much but we never knew we were poor.
Mom also managed to pay 50 cents a week for my sister and I to take baton lessons where we shared a baton. She patiently sat in the stands on hot summer evenings watching our little brother kick dirt and catch bugs in the outfield at the baseball park.
Each school morning, long before we were able to get out of bed, Mom's cheery voice called out, "Rise and shine. It's another be good to mother day!"
As we grew into teenagers, mom had to be the mom and dad of the family. We were disciplined with love. We learned respect and independence. We learned honesty, kindness, and self-dicipline.
Mom is 71 years old now and we are all adults with grown children of our own. We have turned into very respectable adults who have worked hard to raise our own children. We owe our successes to our mother's work ethic. She worked two jobs during our school years in order to be able to give us extras like class rings and yearbooks. What a wonderful mother.
Today, she enjoys her retirement by volunteering her time to the Lunch Buddy Program at Metropolis Elementary School where she mentors impoverished children. She visits the nursing homes taking her friends fresh made breads, sauces, jelly, and even homemade ice cream. On occasion, you can spot her stopping by McDonald's to pick up two cups of coffee. One for her and one for a great-aunt that lives at a nursing home nearby. Mom sits patiently and recalls the good ole days with Aunt Katherine, age 85.
Mom's most recent joy is being Teacher's Assistant in the toddler's Sunday school class. She finds delight in their innocent views of the lesson being presented. The church family is a big part of Mom's daily living. She is involved in all of the activities with her church sisters.
Speaking of sisters, Mom has four sisters of her own and she is the oldest. She is the rock, the shoulder to lean on in times of crisis, the one to call. The one who always answers that call.
Mom is a wonderful person. She is the best mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, neighbor, friend and always a lady.
She is a rare and valuable jewel. She IS the hope diamond and deserves to be recognized as a beautiful shining gem.