(Written by guest blogger Nona)
Adele Mauney Gold Tucker
8/26/1929 – 11/27/1998
I know those are a lot of strange sounding names (I even thought that as I was growing up) but I knew her best as Mama when I was little and then Mother as I got older. She was named “Adele” by her aunt who taught French. If you figure out the dates, she died when she was 69 – but I was only 40, and that felt so very young to be losing my mother. But as Pop Pop told me, I would never be ready and he was so right! This was indeed a big week for us each summer – we had 3 birthdays in 4 days (and then added Tucker’s for 4 in 5 days). We celebrated each one!
My mother grew up in Cleveland County, North Carolina. I always thought it was a very rural area and it still is today. They farmed, her dad ran a cotton gin when she was little, he helped build army and navy bases during the depression, and then he ran a hardware and grocery store (I remember his store and the candy we could pick out!) She graduated from Polkville High School (I think there were about 19 in her graduating class) and then she attended the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (it was called WC) in Greensboro, NC. I always liked the fact that I also graduated from there (the name was changed to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNC-G). I was always very thankful that both my parents went to college – that was not common for most of my friends growing up.
Mother majored in sociology and while I was growing up she was a school social worker. She stayed home while I was young but went to work when I was in the 2nd grade – they knew college was coming soon -Jeanne was in the 6th grade). I always liked it that she worked in the same schools I attended. She was always involved in the things we did: PTA president for the elementary school, Girl Scout cookie coordinator for our troop one year, went to every event we were involved in. She also made sure she and daddy attended all the grandchildren events: even driving to Durham to see soccer & basketball games, Christy cheer in middle school, church performances whenever possible.
One of the major things about my mother was that she was born with a dislocated hip. They knew it at birth and tried to fix it but it didn’t work. She was ok as a child but began to have pain when she was a sophomore in college – 1949. She did not have surgery to replace her hip until 1974. By that last summer she could barely walk and drug her left leg with each step. I grew up being very aware that she was in pain all the time and couldn’t always do things with us. I remember visiting Washington, DC and Daddy taking us up in the Washington Monument and Mother waiting on a bench at the bottom. Joint replacement surgery was not done on younger people at that time so the doctors made her wait until she really couldn’t walk. I will never forget seeing her just after her surgery – I fainted! But she lived without pain and without a limp for the 10 years after it – then it was replaced again after part of it cracked. That second surgery left her with a slight limp but still no pain! She did amazing things though even with the pain she was in – she didn’t often complain about her leg!
My Mother was an expert gardener. Her yard was beautiful. She always had something blooming and kept flowers on our kitchen table. I never saw her go out and weed for hours like I seem to do! She would go out each morning and walk around the yard and look at her flowers – they brought her great joy! I remember her watering them a lot in the summer! Her favorite flower was an iris – and she had lots of them! We (Jeanne, Anne, and I) still have flowers that came from her yard and they are very special to us. Daddy grew a LARGE garden in the summer and she would can tomatoes and green beans, freeze corn, and make pickles. Her vegetable soup was the best I’ve ever eaten – but it was made with her home canned tomatoes.
My mother was also an expert seamstress. She made all of our clothes until I was in high school, made clothes for our dolls, learned to quilt and made all of us (3 daughters/7 grandchildren) queen-size quilts, plus made cute smocked clothes for all 7 of her grandchildren (that would include Christy, Scott, and Tucker!)
My mother became a Christian when she was about ten during a revival at her church. She and her brother both were baptized at the same time. Her mother had been very sick for several months and this happened when she was in the hospital (My grandmother recovered-the doctors had no explanation but she began to get better after the church gathered to pray for her) After I became a Christian at 19, I would go home on weekends during my sophomore year and share with Mother everything I had been learning that week. I know the Lord used my excitement to help my Mother grow in her relationship with the Lord and she began to read her Bible daily. I am very thankful for that memory.
My mother served us all so well. She loved her children and grandchildren and wanted the best for them. She would have loved each one of you so much and would have been so proud of you! I know as you grow up there will be times you get really frustrated with your parents – especially your moms. How I wish I had more time with mine and miss her! You all have great moms – treasure the time you have with them!
Never forget that you are very loved,