She was born mid pack of the large Puterbaugh clan in 1907. On her "tippy-toes" she was barely five feet but she was HUGE in my life. Few people knew her given name and the world knew her as "Tiny", but to me she was "mom".
I was blessed with her in her forty-first year, months after she became a grandmother for the first time. My dad died shortly after I turned eleven and my last sibling living as home joined the Army.
She and I because as close as a mom and son could possibly become. She loved and taught me the lessons of life while holding me close yet giving me the room to grow and explore.
She had me nine months a year and I roamed to California every summer to spent time with one of my brothers. I was a grown man before I knew how lonesome and scared she was during those summers. She just knew it was something I needed if I were to become a strong and independent man.
She never learned to drive and there was no way we could have afforded a car anyway. She would walk across town and iron for a lady just to give me a little spending money.
How she managed on our SS check I can only wonder, but I never needed for anything. Every good trait I have I owe to her and the rest, well "sorry mom".
One of the last things my dad said to my mom was "take care of my little man", and that she did. To this day I still call my grown son, "little man". He was two years old when I lost my mom. The void from not knowing this wonderful lady can never be filled.
I love, miss, and appreciate my mom more every day even after over 25 year. I use her teaching every day. So if you see me at a rest area picnic table having a sandwich, I will not be wearing my cap because "boy, your mama taught you better".