Today was the birthday of my mother-in-law, Frances Archer. She was born in Indiana, December 25, 1905, the youngest child of nine. She died in January, 1997 at the age of 92. This would have been her 108th birthday!
Frances Sloop and Bob Archer were married in 1924 and raised four children, Bob, Betty, Jim and Jerry.
Life wasn’t easy in those days. They settled in Midland, Michigan when Bob was hired by Dow Chemical Co. In the late 40’s Bob became sick, never fully recovering. In November of 1951 he died, at home, of cancer. As a widow with two teenage sons still at home, Frances had her hands full. Money was scarce. She ran a state licensed day care center in her home which she operated until she was into her 80’s!
I have lots of good memories of my mother-in-law. She shared Sunday dinner with us after church and was a special time for our children to be with Grandma. She came to our house every Christmas morning…early every Christmas morning! When we got up at 6:00 AM she would be sitting in her car in our driveway waiting for us to get up! In her later years she came to our house on Christmas Eve and stayed all night so we didn’t worry about her driving so early in the morning!
We always celebrated her birthday. Many years a party in her honor was held earlier in the month. But I’m a stickler for celebrating on the day! So two years I invited the whole family to our house for a birthday dinner for her on Christmas day, her birthday. We had a house full! Those were very special birthdays for her.
This is one of my favorite pictures of her with Jerry, her youngest son and my husband.
It finally became too much for her to live alone. We changed our family room, Rob’s bedroom and the downstairs bathroom into a sort of an apartment for her and moved her in with us. She lived with us for about six months. It was becoming very difficult for me to give her the care she needed. When an opening came at a local nursing home we moved her there. It wasn’t easy. She lived one year and then she passed away, less then a month after her 92nd birthday.
I miss Mom A. She taught me many things and our children all have very good memories of Grandma. I honor her on this Christmas day, her birthday.