I have written quite a bit about my dad WILLIS H BELL. He passed away over 20 years ago. I just lost my mom this past year. My mom was quite a lady. She grew up in Oakland, California as an only child in an alcoholic family. My grandfather who was in in WWI had a drinking problem until he passed away in his 70's. He was a great guy but the drinking was tough on him as well as all of those around him. My mom loved both her mom and her dad. Her mother ( and my grandmother) had no vices but she passed away from cancer of the mouth when my mom was about 24. It was a very difficult and painful sickness that took her from us. Both my dad and his brother have told me what a saint she was. I wish I had known her. She was very protective of my mom and babied her as she grew up.
Mom was a very thin girl and was not athletic at all. She was however very bright when it came to school and she considered herself very proficient with office skills. She had a great memory for just about everything. Mom always loved to sing and write poetry. She was very dramatic in just about everything that happened to her.She loved to read stories and poetry out loud to anyone that would listen. She had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to tell jokes especially if they were off color. She was a self imposed civil rights activist and was a Kennedy fan until her death last year. She was a staunch democrat and would have done anything for her party.
I was the only boy with three sisters. I remember as I grew up how important it was to come home from school. The first words that would come out of my mouth when I opened the door were, "Mom, I'm home"! I would share my day with her and she was genuinely interested in what I had to say. Mom read me stories at night out of our Childcraft books. My favorite was the Steadfast Tin Soldier. There was another one she read to me about a dog with saucer eyes that guarded a treasure. It was great to have her near and I always felt safe with her.
For all of her married life my mom had to deal with my dad and his sickness from the war. For years it didn't manifest itself physically. My dad as good a man as he was felt the effects of cerebral malaria mentally. He had a terrible and uncontrolled temper that my mom had to deal with on a regular basis. Because of her temperment she rarely handled it well. It seemed like a majority of the time when they were together they fought.The only salvation that mom had was that dad worked long hours. However, that ended around 1972 when dad was forced to retire because of his health. From then until his death in December of 1985 he was always at home and mom had to deal with that. She did extremely well during that time. Given their past history.It was not easy for anyone in the family but expecially for mom.
After dad passed away my mom lived in the house in Vacaville on her own for the next 20 years. She loved her church association and her friends. They appreciated her sense of humor and her commitment to them and she cherished the same from them.