Marilyn Lueken

A mother’s love: Women know impact love has on childrens’ lives

When it comes to motherhood, Eileen Wilson and Alta Brodie of Freeland consider themselves grateful to have been blessed with loving children and families.

When it comes to motherhood, Eileen Wilson and Alta Brodie of Freeland consider themselves grateful to have been blessed with loving children and families.

At 102, both now have three generations under them and have witnessed the lasting impact of a mother’s love on her children.

 

 

Passing on the musical notes

Wilson had her first child, Pat, in 1940 after waiting seven years with her husband Edgar. They were living in Oak Harbor at the time while Edgar worked as a mechanic on the base. Wilson remembers her husband wanted a girl and was delighted to find out Pat’s gender.

Wilson remembers chuckling at her husband’s wish and telling him, “You want a girl? It’s just like reaching in a grab bag – you take what you get.”

An only child, Wilson found herself passing on her love to another only child, and Pat was a happy baby, she recalled.

Later, Wilson took in a foster daughter, Delores, who had raised herself until the age of 12 in a bad home, Wilson said.

“It wasn’t always easy, but I had a good caseworker and she helped me out,” Wilson recalled.

Both daughters are now retired and have children of their own. Wilson has two grandsons and six great-grandsons.

Wilson was a church pianist for 20 years, often accompanying people and teaching her own lessons. She tried to pass on that knowledge to Pat at a young age, but the interest wasn’t there.

“I didn’t want to force her,” Wilson said.

When she reached high school age, Pat wanted to play the trumpet and started taking private lessons to play in the school band.

Unsure how long her daughter would continue her lessons, Wilson made sure the trumpet she bought was affordable. But Pat stuck with it and she didn’t have to push her daughter to practice.

Pat continued to play the trumpet for a number of years. Pat’s sons and, later, grandsons – Wilson’s great-grandsons – played the same trumpet as well.

“That trumpet earned its money,” Wilson remarked.

She’s watched her daughter Pat Rothwell raise her own children and every once in a while sees traits of herself and Edgar in her.

“She’s stubborn just like her father and mother,” Wilson said. “But she’s a very good daughter.”

Wilson has enjoyed becoming a grandmother and great-grandmother, saying “The boys are very good to me.”

She also feels fortunate to have great children who have stayed out of trouble.

“All you can do is talk to them and guide them. That’s about all,” Wilson said.

“They can take your advice or not.”

Teaching lifelong skills

Brodie had five children of her own with her husband Alexander. Brodie was born in Everett and spent most of her life living in Marysville before moving to Freeland earlier this year. Her middle daughter, Marilyn Lueken, who lived on the island for 14 years, describes her mother as active while she was growing up. Brodie led a 4-H group, gardened, canned and frequently participated in neighborhood activities.

“She was a hands-on mother,” Lueken said.

One  distinct memory Lueken shares is of working in the family garden.

“We needed them to garden and they needed to work,” Brodie said of her children.

Brodie taught all of her children now to garden, a skill they still use today.

“None of us appreciated gardening at the time, but all of us children have had a garden as adults,” Lueken said.

“It’s a lasting skill.”

Lueken said she hopes to teach her son Daniel, 5, how to garden. Brodie said she still likes the time outside and is proud to see her children carry on the gardening tradition.

Brodie has 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren and enjoys frequent guests at her home in Maple Ridge. It’s a testament to her own emphasis of spending time with her family. Brodie and Alexander spent many vacations camping with their family around the state’s beaches.

“I wanted to do things together,” she said.

Lueken remembered one trip in particular where Brodie took her entire 4-H group for a day trip to Seattle. The family only had a truck for transportation, so they built walls and a roof to surround the bed of the truck and had all the kids sit in the back.

“We all piled into the truck,” Lueken remembers. “What an adventure.”

Both Lueken and Brodie had a hard time remembering exactly what activities took place, but that didn’t bother Brodie.

“We had a good time and that’s what’s important,” she said.

Lueken still visits her mother on a daily basis with her son Daniel, carrying out one of the most important lessons she remembers from Brodie — to love each other.

 

More in News

Prosecutor declines to charge Langley police chief with crime

The Island County prosecutor won’t charge Langley Police Chief David Marks with… Continue reading

Registration open for returning students at SVC

Registration for returning students is underway for summer and fall quarters at… Continue reading

Oak Harbor FamilyCare Physical Therapy becomes NorthSound Physical Therapy.

On June 1, Oak Harbor FamilyCare Physical Therapy officially becomes “NorthSound Physical… Continue reading

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island open house

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island will host its annual open house for… Continue reading

Whidbey Nonprofit Gifts Funds to Local Volunteer Organizations and Lighthouses

The Lighthouse Environmental Programs, or LEP, nonprofit group of Whidbey continues to… Continue reading

Art school hosting presentation by National Geographic photographer

Renowned photographer Sam Abell will give a lecture and photo presentation at… Continue reading

Oak Harbor Council creates taxing district to fund roadwork

Oak Harbor City Council adopted an ordinance that should help the city… Continue reading

Bench will be dedicated to longtime Oak Harbor leader

Kiwanis Club of Oak Harbor and the Oak Harbor School District will… Continue reading

Photo by Maria Matson/Whidbey News-Times
                                Janelle Solomon, 12, from the Lummi Nation’s Ultimate Warrior Canoe Club carries a canoe along with Regina Miller, who is about to participate in the Woman’s Singles races. See the story on page A9 of today’s Whidbey News-Times.
Water Fest draws up to 4,000 people

Bead by bead, three-and-a-half year old Ezra Malloy strung together a colorful… Continue reading

Most Read