Thursday, December 17, 2009

Congratulations mom, on 33 years at Concordia College!

My mother has been saying she'll retire, "next" year, for the last 10 years, from Concordia College. At 74, she shows little sign of ever slowing down. Her latest position at the college has been as the supervisor of the Meals on Wheels program. She personally packages over 200 hot meals every day for anyone signed up with the program and makes extra frozen meals that get delivered on Friday for the weekends.

Her management team could not have done a better job in putting together the reception and the program. Understanding my mother's wit and humor, they strung together funny moments chronicling my mother's 33 years at the college. In that time she "trained in" over 16 of her own supervisors. Although, the personnel coordinator admitted, he wasn't sure if it just took two years for mom to proffer all of her wisdom, or two years was the maximum anyone could put up with my mother! Obviously, they understood my mother well.

I loved that they remembered to include something about my mother's friendship with Dr. Prausnitz.  My former roommate could attest to his ability to reduce students to tears over poorly written composition papers, and yet somehow my mother found his softer side.  He eventually came to call her "pennikins" and while others merely saw a gruff and reclusive professor, she saw past this to his warmth and tender side.  On his death bed, there were but three visitors allowed in his room at the hospital.  Dr. Lell, Dr. Lell's wife, and Pennikins.

The room at my mother's reception was packed. As a true testament to my mother's ability to befriend anyone who comes in contact with her, the event was filled with both the former and current presidents of the college, her coworkers, managers, several professors, many students and lots of our family.  When one of mother's managers quizzed my mother about how she had managed the unheard of precedence- to have both a former and current president of the college in the same room together, my mother smiled and said, "simple, I have always just thought of them and talked to them as my friends."

It seemed that everyone had a story to share about some way that my mom had touched their life.  Whether it was with a treat from her stash of chocolate hidden away in a drawer, or a hug,  or smile when it was needed, its obvious she provided more than just her job skill at the dining service.   As I walked with her down the stairs into the basement of the work area,  her final salute of the day was perhaps the most fitting.  Several of her workers lined up and one by one they fired off rubber bands at her. Its obvious to me that my mother was herself at work... and they all loved and admired her as much as we do.


  1. Vicky thank you for sharing your mom...I would so love to meet her in person, she sounds like an extraordinary woman.
    It's a gift to be able to touch so many people over so many years.
    I have a feeling you follow in her footsteps.

  2. What a heart-warming story. Your mother sounds like a feisty, gifted, caring woman - clearly admired and appreciated by many. Giving us a glimpse into your mother, helps us better know you. Thanks.

  3. What a beautiful heart. How blessed you are.

  4. Warms my heart...great tribute to your mom!

  5. I love your slide show...good job. What a wonderful way to retire. Your mom looks very happy too.

    I wish your mom lots of happy retirement years to come.

  6. Hi Vicky. This is a beautiful blog...well put together and a wonderful tribute to your Mom's years of service. Congratulations to your Mom, fine and loving lady. I feel like I know her through the post and the slide show...and how blessed is each and every person who actually knows her!
    Would you give her a message from me, Vicky. "I wish you life's blessings, my's riches and warmest blessings.
    You are lovely...have a lovely heart. Receive a warm smile and a special hug from me."
    With love,

  7. Robin, without even thinking about it... its interesting how much we emulate someone and it isn't clear to us until someone else points it out. Thanks for your astute observation!

    Bonnie... exactly right... feisty but warm hearted :) And what do your children get from you? I would love to know!!

    S. Etole, yes... I agree... very blessed.

    Jackie, thank you for your sweet words, I will share them with mom!

    Lenornevermore :) Thank you.

    Tainterturtles, thank you, I think she was very happily surprised at how well it all went.

  8. I loved seeing your Mom at Hallet/Erickson on early morning biology lab days. My friends and I would tiredly shuffle into the dining room and your Mom would always have warm muffins for us. She would put them out and tell us "These are to get you girls up and moving this morning, you have a lot to learn!" Not always with a grandma smile on her face more like a "get your butt moving ladies, there is a big world out there to tackle" way about her. Looking back, it was actually a very tender way to get us motivated to move into the day! As a young married couple, and fortunate enough to be your neighbor, your Mom would bring over her cheesecake with caramel sauce and it was heaven! Congratulate her from Andy and I! What a gal!

  9. What an amazing woman! I love to hear stories of women like this! The world needs more like her!

  10. Kjersten, I will share with her your sweet words! Yes, she has a sternness to her that is all business but underneath is caring :) I think you summed it up well! Thanks for dropping in to share your thoughts!

    Missy, I fear the ones from her generation are of a waning breed! They survived so much growing up but the lessons they learned serve us well even in today' s world.

  11. Your mother sounds like a pearl of a woman. What a blessing to have such a mother!

  12. Oh, Vicky...reading your story, and viewing these is so easy to see why your mom is so very loved...Your words brought tears to my eyes...she sounds simply amazing and wonderful!!! I'm sure you love her so very much...and it is obvious to me that you are very much like her! Merry Christmas, dear friend!!! Love, Janine XO

  13. She is extraordinary lady. An epitome of a perfect human being :) I wish were a blessed life with unending happiness and peace. The world could do with more like her. Do give her a hug from me and a tight one at that :)Merry Christmas to you and your family :)

  14. What a marvelous woman your mother is to dedicate her time to such a wonderful cause!

  15. My old alma mater!! I wonder if I might have known your Mom while attending there since the years are bout right?!?! What a small world and what a wonderful tribute to your Mom! Congratulations to her for touching so many hearts and lives ;)


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