Date Honored: August 2019
My mother was an extremely special person. She had a deep and abiding love for her family, always encouraging and praying for each of us (including grandchildren and great-grandchildren) by name. She had a tremendous amount of empathy for those who were hurting or lonely and would do what she could to be a friend or to lighten their burdens with a listening ear, smile, or companionship.
As a military family, we moved a great deal until my father retired from the Air Force in 1970, at which time they purchased the first and only home they ever owned. They were so incredibly proud of that place.
Much of our growing up period was spent in either temporary or permanent military housing. Following our last overseas tour (our second time in Germany), we were temporarily stationed at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, while awaiting Dad’s retirement orders. Prior to being granted living quarters on base, we were assigned a mobile home in Mascoutah, Illinois. It was pretty awful – one of those units you often read about from disgruntled service members. It was mouse-infested (you could always tell when Mom had to get up and use the restroom in the middle of the night because we’d be woken up by her attempt at quiet screams and gasps as the mice ran across the floor when she turned the light on) and it was so tiny, but in spite of that, Mom and Dad worked extra hard to make that first Christmas stateside something very special.
Mom and Dad found a large cardboard box and covered it in brick-like wrapping paper to look like a chimney, then placed a small table-top Christmas tree on top of it. Our presents were lovingly wrapped and placed around the makeshift chimney. We made cookies and candies – as we did each Christmas, but there was something very special about this one.
Mom would almost always have brownies or cookies waiting for us when we arrived home from school, even after we became teenagers.
Military life definitely took its toll on each of us, but Mom always found a way to make each place we lived home.
~ Bobbie Stull, daughter