Sunday, June 27, 2010

In The Pfafftown Spotlight

I plan to periodically feature an individual who has lived a long time in this area of Forsyth County of North Carolina.

The first person in the spotlight is my mother, Ann Anderson Mabe, a lifelong resident of Pfafftown. She was born in 1924 in the Dozier community and was 9th of 13 children born to Jasper and Elvira Anderson. Both parents and all but one sibling, Pat Puckett, have passed.

The picture of mom was taken a year ago for the church pictorial directory when her age was 85.

She was married to George Howard Mabe for 47 years until his death in 1990.

My mother has three children of which I am the oldest. Beyond the normal love and admiration a son has for his mother, there are qualities about her I'd like to make you aware.

Among 13 siblings, she was the only one to graduate high school. She graduated from Old Richmond School in a class of size thirteen in 1942. Most students in the 1930's and 40's in this area didn't earn a high school diploma. The high dropout rate was due to the culture at the time. Many parents bore children and had large families for the labor needed on the farm. Most children weren't discouraged from quitting school because they were needed to help attend to the crops, gardens, food preparation, and the gathering of firewood. Survival was more important than school for most families. When asked why she didn't quit like her brothers and sisters, she replied, "I enjoyed going to school and liked to learn from my books. I enjoyed my classmates and didn't want to quit."

After her children were in school, she pursued and completed professional training as a Licensed Practical Nurse and worked at Forsyth Memorial Hospital and in private-duty nursing for her career. Again, she was the only sibling to seek professional training as an adult.

The next thing I admire about my mother is the furnishing inside her home. There is no clutter due to excess stuff in her house and basement. Her closets and drawers are half empty and there is wide-open space throughout her basement with stored items well organized. Her walls, bookshelves, and tables are not occupied with things and stuff without purpose and usefulness.

When mail arrives at her home, she carefully uses the scissors to cut open the stamped end of the envelope. After reading the correspondence, she carefully folds the document and returns it to the envelope. She sometimes writes a note on the outside like "paid" and saves it for one year. She gets me to shred older documents each year.

Whenever my mother writes, she uses the cursive style she learned in school. I observe many people today reverting back to the print or block style of handwriting even after they've been taught cursive. I find that curious. Look at the picture of my mother's current handwriting. See if you can read it.

A few years ago she wrote an autobiography entitled "Precious Memories". After getting her 46,000 word manuscript word-processed, she published her life story in hardback and gave the books to her children and other family members. One copy of the book was donated to the North Carolina Room of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Public Library. Her life story is on the shelf there for perpetuity.

My mother has always been disciplined and in control of her behavior. I've seen her sad, disappointed, hurt, and upset, but never angry. She seeks to discover the positive in all situations and accepts all outcomes that are beyond her control.

Like many people, she doesn't seek publicity or fame, but lives life quietly, with integrity, high morals, faith, and upright character that is admired by all who know her.

I'm a lucky man to have a mother like this to guide, instruct, and be a good example for me to follow.

Have a good week!


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