Today would have been Margaret's 83rd birthday. She passed away this past June. I couldn't bring myself to write about her back then but today, I want to celebrate her and remember her.
I met Margaret when I started dating my husband. She was his oldest sibling and had a big part in helping to raise him. Aaron considered her to be a "second" mother and I've always considered her to be my MIL. To our kids, she was Grandma.
She was a unique lady. She was strong, stubborn as a mule and she was quite forthright. She didn't mince words; you always knew where you stood with her and she didn't sugar coat things. Some people liked that, some didn't.
Margaret was born a country girl and I remember as we talked she would share with me stories of having to go to school without shoes (during the Great Depression). By the time Margaret was 5, she was helping to raise her brothers and sisters. I can't imagine having that responsibility when I was only 5 but times were different back then. Never once did I hear her complain about it. Margaret loved her family and she loved the Lord.
Over the years she helped to raise her nieces and nephews as well as Aaron. She dedicated most of her life to others and always fought for the underdog. Her second son, John (who was her nephew) was born with significant developmental challenges. Margaret and her husband James were John's foster parents. They kept him home as long as they could and when it became necessary to place John in a medical setting for health reasons, they faithfully went to visit him several times a week if not more.
Margaret was appalled at that the conditions of the CA state developmental facilities. She set about changing them and change them she did! In her heyday - senators would quake when they saw Margaret S. coming. They knew Margaret by name and that she would stop at nothing to fight for and speak for those who couldn't speak for themselves.
Aaron shared with me that many of the positive changes in the past 30 years regarding the condition of the state facilities for the developmentally disabled as well as the laws governing those facilities were directly and positively impacted by Margaret.
Margaret had her rough edges too. She was gruff, stubborn, and trust me - you never wanted to be on her bad side. She had sorrow in her life as well; she lost her son and then her husband just a few years apart. Those losses changed Margaret. She was sadder, slightly more bitter but she still had a heart that knew how to LOVE! She had a heart as big as the world and would share that love to all who came into her life.
The phrase "Mother to Many" was written on her gravestone. Those words truly bring to mind Margaret and what a beautiful way to be remembered!
We miss you Margaret but we rejoice in knowing you are celebrating your birthday with the King!