Jeanette Allard Hastings
February 1, 1919 - October 27, 2002

John Hastings Tribute

It is hard to try to pull just one memory or story out of our life with Mom which might give a glimpse of who she was as a woman, a wife, a mother, a teacher, and all of the other roles that she played so well.

Mine involves our annual two-week trek to nature called a summer vacation. The one I remember was when I was in my early teens and the place was Telluride, Colorado when we lived in Dallas. Let me set the scene.

Dad is an avid mountain climber and nature lover, Mom was an avid non-mountain climber and nature lover, and the five of us kids were straight out of the movie City Slickers… “You mean we have to go two weeks without TV or radio!” “You mean we have to play together as a family in the wilderness without our friends?”

The primary burden of getting us all packed and ready fell to Mom. She made lists, laid out clothes, fixed “travel food”, and generally tried to make sure that we had provisions for two weeks in a spiritual place. She was always running late to get ready and would wash and pack into the wee hours of the morning of departure.

We struck out at the crack of dawn in our yellow Plymouth station wagon and Mom slept until Amarillo. We kids in the back were being their general unruly selves while playing “I Spy” and Twenty Questions. It took the better part of two days to get to Telluride – what patience!

Telluride in the late ‘50s was still an undiscovered ghost town without the benefit of ski slopes, Hollywood mogul get away cabins, and other resort trappings. It is surrounded on three sides with mountains and was about as isolated as you can get in 20th century America.

Mom and Dad had rented a small house on main street complete with a wood stove and other rustic furnishings. It had a flower bed in front which attracted hummingbirds which Mom loved to watch while sitting on the porch reading her books.

For the next few days, Mom would send us off to climb mountains, fish lakes, explore abandoned mining camps and do other back to nature kinds of things. She tended to the house, fixed meals on the wood stove, watched the younger children, read her books, and drank in the beauty just outside the cottage door. Doesn’t sound like a vacation for Mom … does it?

Some times we would pack a lunch, rent a jeep, and drive to some secluded spot like Angel Falls for a time of “family fun”. Mom was always pointing out the beauty of a flower or the majesty of the scenery or the hand of God in His creation.

How does this time call forth so many memories of Mom? Let me name a few:
• Her love of beauty – natural and man made
• Her dedication to family and joy in family together times
• Her tireless taking care of our physical needs
• Her motherly way of helping us heal from all the physical, emotional, and spiritual ills
• Her cooking magic which seemed to come from somewhere other than recipes
• Her deep sense of God’s spirit in everyday life
• Her embracing of all God’s people – family, friends, and strangers
• Her love of reading and writing

Today I have brought a geode to remind us of Mom. A geode is a rock that has deep origins, sort of ordinary outside, and a wondrous, incredible, beautiful inside. Mom was like that… her spirit ran deep and quiet … her beauty and love were evident to everyone, especially her family.

Last Updated: February 11, 2001