I originally posted this last year for Veteran's Day, and decided to share it again. It is one of my favorite family stories.
My father was one of eleven children born to my Grandma Dottie, 7 boys and 4 girls. Grandma Dottie would have had 16 children if she hadn't lost two sets of twins, and one stillborn. When my Aunt Esther died in 1969, Grandma Dottie took in her four children and raised them as her own as well.
They lived in a small town Ava, Missouri, in a run-down shack with a wavy tin roof. She was a woman of strong faith, and the patience of Job. None of her children were born in a hospital, or with a doctor present. Each of her children will tell you that she showered them with so much love and attention, they felt like an only child. Even though they were poor, Grandma Dottie made sure her home was clean and her children were well fed.
Because they were so poor, all of the boys joined the military immediately after graduation as a means to a better life. When the Vietnam war started, 5 of her children were sent into the combat zone. Grandma Dottie kept a map on the living room wall with 5 different colored push pins...one for every child. She would pray over that map several times a day. At one point, Grandma Dottie wrote to the President of the United States to tell him that he had too many of her sons and she wanted some returned to her. Amazingly enough, that letter was passed down through the ranks and the message was sent to each of her boys' commanding officers. Each son was told that one of them would have to return home pursuant to the wartime rules. Each one refused. Not knowing what else to do, the commanding officers made each son sit down and write Grandma Dottie a letter telling her that they were refusing to leave. I imagine Grandma's heart broke a little more each time she pulled one of those letters from her mailbox. Grandma Dottie's prayers continued, and God answered her prayers and brought each of her sons home safely when the war ended.
While today is a day of remembrance for those who have served, and continue to serve our country to ensure freedom for each and every one of us, I can't help but remember my Grandma Dottie on this day and the heartache she must have endured. For mothers of soldiers everywhere...thank you for the sacrifices YOU have made, and for nurturing and molding the finest and most honorable men with the courage and strength to give our country the freedom we too often take for granted. May God Bless You!
About the author: I am full-time REALTOR® with RE/MAX Solutions in Springfield, MO, and a member of the Greater Springfield Board of REALTORS®. I have helped hundreds of families in the Springfield, Nixa, Republic and Ozark real estate markets, whether buying a home, or selling a home. Visit my website to search for All Springfield MO Area MLS listings. Want to know what our market is like? My website is also an excellent resource for current Springfield MO Area Real Estate Market Reports, as well as current market reports for Ozark, Nixa, Republic, and Rogersville.