March 23rd, 2012 by Jan

I am remembering my mother-in-law Tomi.

I pulled out a letter that she wrote to us a few years ago. In it she included two stories she had written about women she admired. One was about her mother-in-law and I want to pass it on.

I like to say that the quality of your day will make up the quality of your life. In comparison to my mother-in-law and my grand mother-in-law, I live a life of pure luxury and leisure. Believe me when I say, I do not take my fortune for granted.

Hard Work Never Hurt Anyone —by Thomasina 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.


Tomi and I had at least two things in common. We both loved Ken and both of us admired our mother-in-laws.

2 thoughts on “mother-in-laws

  1. Laur

    Sorry for the passing of Tomi. Your descriptions have added so much back story about her presence in your life, thank you for sharing them. Hugs to you and Ken, and then ten times over.


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