Donna Platt: To the woman who became my mother
Anna Baldwin Platt came into my life when I married her only son. I met her a few short weeks after Seabrook and I starting dating. I quickly realized that she was an amazing woman and I grew to love her very much.
She became my mother-in-law and took me under her wing, treating me like a daughter from the beginning. She already had six daughters, but there was room for one more.
I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with Anna. I had been cooking from the time I was about 12 years old, but she taught me a lot more about cooking.
She taught me how to cut up a chicken, how to make her cornbread dressing, and how to cook a venison roast. Her son is glad that I can cook some things just like Mom.
Anna’s sons-in-law would tell you that she never took sides in any disagreement her children had with their spouses. That may have been true with her daughters and their husbands, but I remember a time when she seemed to take my side.
I don’t remember what I was upset with Seabrook about, but she came to me while I was crying. She told me that she didn’t know what was wrong with him.
She said, “I don’t know whether I didn’t spank Seabrook enough, or if I spanked him too much!”
Since we lived next door to Anna for 30 years, she had a key to our house. Occasionally, I would come home from work to find that she had left a complete meal or a partial meal on my stove, ready to eat. There were days when I would leave breakfast dishes in the sink and come home to find that she had washed them. She was a generous, kind and thoughtful person.
Anna was a big help when our children came along. She was experienced with taking care of babies because she had seven of her own. She was there to help me when the babies were born and later to baby-sit. Sometimes, she would come over and help me out just to be helping. Just like a mother would do.
Anna taught school for many years and touched the lives of many children. I have met some of them over the years, and they have all told me that she was a wonderful teacher. She also taught her children, grandchildren and the children of friends outside the classroom.
She had a love for nature and fishing, so she took many children on nature walks and fishing adventures. She also had a love for the beach. She spent many hours walking on the beach and sharing her knowledge about the treasures she found.
Anna was a fun-loving woman with a great sense of humor. She was born on April 1, 1906, and she loved that she was born on April Fool’s Day. She always got a kick out of playing April Fool’s jokes on people. That was her day and she wasn’t missing out on the fun.
In her later years, I had the privilege of becoming one of her caregivers. I was finally able to repay some of her kindness. She passed away three days before she turned 95.
Anna was the most wonderful woman I have ever met, and I am glad to have known her. I am glad that she allowed me to be her daughter. She taught me things a mother would teach a daughter. I am thankful that I had a mother-daughter relationship with this special lady. Anna Baldwin Platt was the woman who became my mother when I needed a mother.
Donna Platt of Parkers Ferry is a Medical University of South Carolina retiree. She and her husband, Seabrook, celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary June 12. They have two adult daughters and four grandchildren. She enjoys family time, yard work and teaching Sunday school and women’s Bible studies.