My mom had me when she was 43 years old and raised me on her own. As a child, I was way too busy having fun and being a kid to realize what a struggle this must have been for her, but now I can appreciate her and her efforts.
We didn't have a lot of money, and I guess I realized that on some level, but I never felt poor or that the essentials were lacking. She always made Christmas special, and while I didn't get EVERYTHING I asked for, no kid should.
She taught me about frugality, although she was probably frugal to the extreme. She grew up during the depression which created a pack rat mentality. The two things that I still laugh about was her saving the waxy bags from inside cereal boxes to use instead of new wax paper, and keeping spray nozzles from cans. If she had a faulty one, she could use one from her stash instead of throwing out a can with something in it.
My mom was strong in mind and body. She taught me not to worry... "the worry is always the worst", to think positive thoughts, and to be independent. She could single-handedly move a refrigerator and do small carpentry and plumbing jobs.
Now that she's 88 years old, she is weaker and less sure of herself, but she passed her strength on to me, and I'll use that strength to help her. Just before Pipsqueak was born, I convinced her to sell her house of 35 years and buy the one next door to me. Since then, she's given up driving and says that she thinks she's a burden to me. The fact is that she's a blessing to me, and I'm glad to have her so near so I can frequently see the smile that lit up my days as a child.
Tomorrow, I'll be doing a Thanksgiving wrap up with all sorts of things I'm thankful for.