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In honor of Mother's Day, we asked our readers to tell us about their amazing moms. Our question: "What's the most important lesson you learned from your mother?" The responses we received showed just how much our moms teach us every day, but one answer in particular won us over. Heidi Nordhoff wrote the following:
Strong, Like Me
Mom's first train trip from Indianapolis to Atlanta, Georgia was in the summer of 1943. Just five years old, she rode through the night, alone.
At seven, her daddy died of pneumonia. Thrust into single parenting, her mom worked hard. Days at Eli Lilly, evenings and weekends at McCrory and Kresge's Five and Dime. Summers she was forced to send her children away to relatives or risk the foster care system.
Twice Mom's east side childhood home burned to the ground. At times, the electricity was shut off. More than once, The Irvington Church of Christ paid the mortgage. Her oldest brother quit school to toil the railroad and help support his family.
At fifteen, Mom got her first job as a soda jerk at Robertson's Drug Store. She graduated Warren Central, worked for a doctor, then married and began having children of her own.
A homemaker for twenty-five years, Mom loved us, but she was tough. Her childhood demanded she be.
Grandma died of breast cancer just days before I was born. She was strong and fought hard. I can see that strength in her photo on Mom's nightstand. Strong, like Mom. Strong, like me.
Congratulations to Heidi who will receive a family four-pack of tickets to Holiday World & Splashin Safari. And thank you to all of our readers who sent in their wonderful stories!