May 30th, 2014 by Jan

I had a mother-in-law; she did too.

I called my mother-in-law Tomi. I don’t know how she addressed her husbands mother.

My mother-in-laws full name was Thomasina Vernice Thomas Parker. She was the matriarch of her brood. Growing up she had only brothers, in married life she had only sons. Tomi took her place as matriarch seriously, standing in the world as a strong Christian woman, in full charge of her family.

We always got along. She and I disagreed on spiritual matters without ever discussing them. There was little open conflict, in the Parker house.

Today I am posting a short story written by Tomi. She wrote it about her mother-in-law. The title of her story is—

Hard Work Never Hurt Anyone by Tomi Parker

Motherless at 13, she went to the field to help pick corn and shock grain with her father and older brothers. Many times she was left to unharness the horses while the men went to the house for supper. Her older sisters done the cooking, tending the chickens and garden and doing all the sewing by hand. She remembered her oldest sister sitting at night with a lamp on chair, sewing shirts for the men.

At 16, she left home to work in a motel. The waitresses were expected to not only wait on the tables but to iron the large white tablecloths and cloth napkins.

She married at 19. Had her first baby at 20. She and her husband moved in a covered wagon with their merger possessions to a farm, there she raised chickens, a big garden, milked cows and continued to helping pick corn (she put the younger children in a box in front of the wagon) and shock grain.

When her 7th child was born, (including one set of twins), her oldest wasn’t yet 8. (she had two more children later).

She continued to work hard the rest of her life, raising chickens, a big garden, and helped shock grain into her 70’s.

She survived a broken hip and surgery at age 95. She passed away at 97.

One of her favorite sayings was “hard work never hurt anyone” and she was certainly a testimony to that.

My mother in law, Martha Parker.
I wish I had a photo of Martha Parker, I don’t, but I do have one of Tomi. Salute!

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