Following is a tribute to Gladys Sylvester Olds (1896 - 1960 ) written by her daughter:
by Shirley Olds Bauer
The word "rose" is the mother of romance and legend. It is the symbol of perfection and love. Roses grace the garden of kings and climb the cottages of the poor. Roses are part of our lives and heritage.
During the many travels of Mama's grandparents from their beloved England to Zion, they always found room in their wagon for a few roses and iris starts. The love of a beautiful rose and a true meaning of its depth and perfection came early in mama's life.
I like to compare Mama's life to that of a lovely rose. God sent down a beautiful rose for us to enjoy; then called it home when the season was over and each pedal faded and started to fall. Some of the most outstanding and rewarding virtues and qualities that I remember in my mother were her unabiding faith in God and His great gospel plan, and her strong sense of right and wrong. She had a strong determination that her children would always be exemplary. She was a loving and kind in a straightforward way. We were taught by example as well as by the books. She fared the depression, the children's school years, the war years, marriages, births, fighting illness all the time. She always had thankfulness for her husband and children and when things were tough she would say, "But we have things so much better than lots of people."
Life was hard for Mama. Early in her married life, before Merrill was born, her heart condition showed up. She worked hard to teach her children properly and do for them. She encouraged each one of us to strive for the finer things in life, to maintain high moral standards, to learn and love the gospel as she did and to always have faith I it.
Mama loved the "miracles of God" as she referred to them, the beautiful rainbow in the sky after a storm, which is a promise from God. The sunrise and sunsets with their magnificent colors, the thrill of a new rose bursting into bloom. She loved the miracle of birth whether one of her own babies or perhaps a beautiful new grandchild.
She enjoyed good books, loved English Literature and Shakespeare, American History and poetry. She was always reciting poems and passages she had memorized as a young girl. She loved classical music and the theater very much.
Mama loved the Lord and was diligent in her church activities. She was faithful in her prayers- believing God hears and answers prayers and she shared many of her experiences with me. Many times she received inspiration from heaven to help her over the rough times in her live and her guardian angel watched over to warn and protect her from unseen dangers. Part of the legacy she has left to us is her shining love and faith in God.
In 1944, Mama received a blessing by Patriarch Joel J. Roundy. It states in part:
"And prepare your heart to receive the blessings that are in store for you. And in as much as you have faith in the Lord and are converted to the principals of the gospel, the Lord will bless you with every righteous desire of your heart. Your guardian angel has watched over you in the past and will watch over you in the future and will warn you and protect you from unseen dangers and that you may live upon the earth to fulfill all the missions you will be called to perform. I pray the Lord to bless you with wisdom and knowledge and intelligence that you may always see the beauties of the gospel and understand eternal life and if you still serve the Lord, you will receive inspiration from heaven to help you over the rough places in life. That you may be successful in your labors, that you may have will power enough to resist temptations and over come evil and the Lord will bless you that you may preach the gospel by example, that you may have joy and satisfaction in your labors and I bless you that you may have influence over your children for good that they may see and understand the principals of the gospel and live up to it's teachings. And if you will listen to that still small voice, which is the Holy Ghost, He will lead you into truth and righteousness that you may live to fulfill the measure of your life."
To me this expresses many things about Mama. Although she received this blessing late in her life, it symbolized the very things she stood for.
She experienced many incidents that strengthened her testimony throughout her life. One such incident was when we were living at Pintura in a house without electricity or a telephone and dad was away at work. Kent was a very small child and became suddenly very ill having a high fever and a large swelling behind one ear. Mama knew this was mastoids and a very critical illness but she didn't know just what to do for it. In those days surgery was necessary and often the patient did not pull through. The nearest doctor was fifteen miles away. She knelt by her bed and prayed, asking her Heavenly Father to help her, that through her mind and hands she would do the things necessary to help her little child get better. This prayer was answered and when she took Kent to the doctor he said this healing was truly the Lord's work. "A miracle," he called it. The abcess behind the ear had gathered and broke draining through the ear.
Two other incidents were when she was determined to give birth to her last two babies. Although to do so was very dangerous to her health and she could have lost her life. Then she always felt that the Lord again answered her prayers and saved the life of LeGrande. He had a very serious accident when about fourteen years old, not only was his life spared but also his right arm.
This faith manifest itself again when the boys were in the service and her prayers were answered and they returned home safely.
She always had faith that dad would become active in the church and prepare himself to take her to the House of the Lord. This prayer was also answered.
A little verse Mama wrote one day while sitting in her yard:
"God never loved me is so sweet a way before,
Tis He who alone such blessings send
And when His love would new expression find,
He brought Thee to me and said, "Behold a friend."
(So many of Mama's verses were lost.)
One of her choice verses, which she often quoted comes from Shakespeare. "To thine ownself be true and it must follow as night the day - Thou canst be false to any man."
To those of us who knew and loved her believed the 23rd Psalm was hers. "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
For those of us who remember Mama, remember most of all her selfless love for her family, her love and devotion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and her witty sense of humor.
A ROSE FROM HER GARDEN
by Jane Sylvester Mumford
I greeted my friend midst her
Such a lovely sight to see
Smilingly she plucked one
And offered its beauty to me.
I cherished the rose and kept it
'Till its petals were doomed and gray
Just a stem with a leaf, still I waited
Reluctant to throw life away.
I gave it to grow in my garden
There, blessed by the sun it remained
For earth like a mother reclaimed it
And nurtured it's life once again.
Often with tears I remember
The smile of a friend I have known
And her picture there, midst her roses
Where neither could pose all alone.
Solely I walk thru my garden
The joy of her presence is gone
Still there in the sun like a symbol
A rose from her garden blooms on.
GLADYS SYLVESTER OLDS
Wife and Mother
1896 - 1960
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Copyright ©2000 by Shirley Olds Bauer
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