Back in the 1930’s when mom was a little girl, life was difficult. They were poor and lived in Chicago. Mom’s mother’s name was Katherine (Scheible) Johnson, Kramer, Holtmann. Katherine’s parents were Michael and Agnes Scheible. It looks like Michael was born in 1870 and was a widower in 1940.

My mother’s name was Shirley Kramer. She was never adopted by Carl Holtmann. He was not a good man. I did not find out until much later how difficult mom’s teenage years were.

As I was reading one of the emails Mom sent me in 2007, I was reminded of some stories she used to tell about her toys. I believe she said she had two-or-three toys as a child. One of them, a favorite, was given away by her mother to a neighbor’s child. Mom was heartbroken. The email from mom shed some more light on what her life was like as a child. She was talking about my Grandma Margaret Winquist, and then shared something that was heartbreaking.

Grandma Margaret “…did crochet, mostly doilies, my mother did too, I guess that was something most women did back then. My mother use to make bedspreads also, for the money, so she sometimes could buy me a Christmas present. She would work all year just to finish one, and there was a lady who would come and buy it from her.  Such is memories of the good old days.” – February 4, 2007.

Mom was not bitter about the difficulties of life. She was like Joseph in Genesis chapter 50.  She understood that God’s ways and His plan might look unloving and neglectful, but she trusted God for his love, wisdom and provision.